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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Maybe it wasn't so bad after all

By Brian Bailey
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Many close to the East Carolina womenís basketball program said they thought Rutgers was an elite team after the Lady Pirates' first round loss in the NCAA Tournament.

They turned out to be right.

Rutgers turned out to be a team on a mission. It just so happens that the mission started against East Carolina.

Rutgers totally dominated the Lady Pirates, holding ECU to just 34 points on 16 percent shooting from the field in that 77-34 win.

The Scarlet Knights stunned top ranked Duke in the round of 16, and then went to work Sunday night in the Final Four in Cleveland.

Rutgers advanced to the national championship game with Sunday nightís 59-35 win over LSU. The 35 points was the fewest ever scored in a womenís Final Four. Matee Ajavon paved the way with 16 points, including 4 three pointers.

Ajavaon had 20 points in that first round game against East Carolina.

All of this came from a team that opened the year at 2-4. Coach Vivian Stringer was so upset with her teamís play, that she took their locker room away from them at one point.

Rutgers will face Tennessee in Tuesday nightís national championship game. The Scarlet Knights will be going for the schoolís first national title since 1949 when Rutgers shared the fencing national championship with Army.

I bet there will be several from East Carolina watching on Tuesday night.

The experience in playing a team as good as Rutgers, despite the loss, should pay dividends down the road.

Big week for Buc baseball

Give East Carolina credit for rallying to salvage the third game of their series with Tulane on Sunday.

The Pirates had plenty of chances in Friday nightís game, but lost a close one. Saturday wasnít close, and Sunday had that same feeling before the Pirates rallied.

Ryan Tousley was 5-5 in Sundayís win. He had a two-run home run and drove in four for the game. For the week, Tousley hit .471 with two home runs and seven RBI's.

The hottest Pirate hitter is Dale Mollenhauer. He hit .611 for the week with two doubles, a triple, seven runs scored and a couple of RBI. Mollenhauer went 4-5 in Sundayís 11-7 win at Tulane.

The Pirates were 2-2 for the week, beating UNC-Wilmington before losing the two out of three to Tulane. Those losses dropped the Pirates in the polls just a bit.

East Carolina is now ranked 22nd by Baseball America, thatís down from 19th. ECU is also ranked 24th by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 26th by Collegiate Baseball.

This week, the Pirates look for some revenge against North Carolina State. The Wolfpack is actually the last team to beat East Carolina in Clark-LeClair Stadium.

This weekend, Clark-LeClair should be rocking with Rice in town for a three game series. The Owls are ranked 14th in by Collegiate Baseball.

The weather should be nice and the park should be jumping. I donít know about you, but I didnít know what to do with myself without baseball at Clark-LeClair this weekend.

Thankfully, the Pirates return home on Friday for what should be another outstanding weekend of baseball!


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04/21/2008 07:02:47 PM


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