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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Happy turn of events for hoops

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


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There were several surprises in East Carolina’s win over Texas-El Paso on Saturday night.

The Pirates had one of their best nights of the year on offense. Courtney Captain warmed up for his late heroics with a 24-point first half.

The Pirate crowd was shocking. With rumors of students wearing bags, and e-mails and letters to the editor flying around, the Pirate Nation showed up in huge numbers to cheer on this Pirate team for a final time this season.

It wasn’t just the numbers. The crowd was into the game from the very start. East Carolina built a big lead in the game, only to see UTEP rally.

Riding a 13-game losing streak, you kind of had the feeling that this team was destined to hit 14 on this night. But in the final flurry, the Pirates executed to perfection in getting Courtney Captain a good look at a long three point shot.

Captain drained what turned out to be the game-winner. But it certainly wasn’t over. UTEP ended up with one final shot with just over a second to play.

This officiating crew spent most of the night calling every ticky-tacky foul they could find. Somehow, though, they missed the Pirate that was thrown to the floor on the final play. Luckily, the perfect script included a Miner miss, and the Pirates had broken the losing streak.

Someone had joked that the fans might just storm the court with a Pirate win. I thought that would be a bad idea. However, the way the game ended, I think it was an outstanding gesture of respect for this team, especially the hero of the night playing in his last game at Williams Arena.

Courtney Captain gave us a night that he, and most of us, will never forget!

Ingram hangs up sneakers

Jeremy Ingram also played his last home game on Saturday night.

Ingram has one more year of eligibility, but his ailing knee just won't allow him to continue. Ingram has had four knee surgeries over the last four years. This year’s treatments included an injection of chicken cartilage to try and support the knee.

Ingram made the announcement at the post game news conference after the win over UTEP.

“I just want to personally thank everyone,” Ingram said. “I just felt love from the first time I set foot in the coliseum and I’m still feeling love now. I just want to thank everybody that welcomed me here. I’m going to always be a Pirate.”

Ingram will go down as one of my all-time favorite players to cover. He had a genuine love for people. He is an outstanding young man and he will do great in his chosen field.

Pirate baseball sweeps

East Carolina went 3-0 in this weekend’s ECU Invitational. The Pirates opened with a 5-1 win over Big East favorite St. John’s. It was really nice to see T.J. Hose throw as well as he did.

The best game of the weekend was the come from behind win over Washington. Husky starter Nick Haughian was a hard throwing lefty who really had the Pirates number for seven innings. But the Pirates rallied with a five-run eighth and then Shane Mathews slammed the door with the save. East Carolina won the game 6-3.

Sunday’s win over a previously unbeaten Duke team was impressive because the Pirates went to work early offensively. The Pirates beat Duke 11-4.

Next weekend the competition intensifies a bit, with Pepperdine, N.C. State and Western Carolina due in town for the 4th annual Keith LeClair Classic.

Lady Pirates earn No. 3 seed

East Carolina’s Lady Pirates won their seventh straight game on Saturday, beating Central Florida in Orlando 76-57.

Sharon Baldwin-Tener may end up as the Conference USA Coach of the Year. Her Lady Pirates earned a bye in the first round of the C-USA Tournament and will play the winner of the Southern Methodist-UCF on Friday night in Tulsa, OK.

ECU is the hottest team coming into the tournament. Three more wins and East Carolina’s women would head to the NCAA Tournament.

Eastern Regionals

East Carolina University and J.H. Rose High School are hosting the NCHSAA Eastern Regionals this week.

This week’s winners head to the state championship games next week.

It’s always a huge week of hoops on campus, and this year shouldn’t be any different.

Pitt County has Ayden-Grifton on the boy’s side, and South Central for the girls.
Kinston comes to Greenville as the number one team in the state in 3A. The Vikings have several players that are being recruited.

It’s always a good time, so get out to ECU or Rose for some great basketball this week.


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04/21/2008 07:08:09 PM


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