ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
By Brian Bailey
That’s why they play the
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It simply looked like East
Carolina and Marshall swapped roles on Saturday.
The team that had everything
to play for played like it was just 1-8 on the season.
The team that was 1-8 on the
year played like it was in line to host the conference title game.
That’s Conference USA for you.
While the heavily favored Pirates were getting their head handed to them in
Huntington, C-USA West leader Houston was self-destructing to the tune of a
56-7 loss to Tulsa.
We’ve said all along that the
Pirates needed a bye week. Unfortunately, the team took a day off a week
“There is a lot of pain in
that locker room, a lot of hurt,” Coach Skip Holtz told the media after the
game. “I give Marshall an awful lot of credit. I think the opening drive
probably is an example of a lot of what happened in this game.”
That opening drive set the
pace for Marshall to control the football. On a day when the Pirates could
do very little on offense, those three points were big.
East Carolina would trail 10-0
at halftime and didn’t really show any signs of life until just after
Marshall quarterback Bernard Morris’s 75-yard touchdown scamper.
Trailing 16-0, the Pirates got
a drive going and cut the lead back to nine when Chris Johnson scored a
That’s as close as the Pirates
would get in this one.
For the second straight year,
this ECU team controlled its own destiny as far as the Conference USA
championship was concerned.
For the second straight year,
the Pirates stubbed their toe with a road loss.
Still, there’s hope. Memphis
upset Southern Miss on Saturday. Now the Pirates need a Central Florida loss
to either Southern Methodist in Dallas this Saturday, or a loss to Texas-El
Paso in Orlando on the 24th.
Plus, of course, the Pirates
still have to beat Tulane to end the season.
Good news from the hoops
On a more positive note, both
the ECU men and women’s basketball teams opened the season with wins.
On Saturday, the Mack McCarthy
era officially began with
a 78-60 win over Division II
As bad as basketball has been
at ECU for quite a while, it's hard to believe that this program has now won
eight straight season openers. I understand that there hasn’t been a
powerhouse in that opening slot, but 8-8 for any ECU basketball team is
Coach Mack had a chance to
clear his bench on Saturday. This is a team that could have won this game by
50, but the experience every player picked up in the game is much more
important then a winning margin.
A key part of the preseason
and the early season is learning just what combinations work best together.
“We’ve got to look at
different combinations,” McCarthy said afterwards. “We’ve got a couple of
bad combinations out there. We’ve been putting five in at a time in
scrimmages and it worked pretty effectively but it wasn’t as good in a live
Darrell Jenkins led East
Carolina with 17 points and seven assists. John Fields collected 14 points
in the win.
The Lady Pirates completed the
basketball weekend sweep with their 97-52 win over Presbyterian.
Allison Spivey and Lauren
Cochran each scored 14 points in the win for Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener.
Baldwin-Tener says she wants
her team to take it to the next level this season.
“We’ve put it on their shirts,
so they can see it everyday,” said Baldwin-Tener. “We want to return to the
NCAA tournament, and we want to win some games there.”
Both the men and women are
back in action tonight in a doubleheader at Williams Arena. The women host
Old Dominion at 6 p.m., followed by the men taking on Richmond at 8 p.m.
The Spiders, of the Atlantic
10 Conference, pushed C-USA kingpin and nationally third-ranked Memphis to
late in the second half last week.
I know that both basketball
programs would surely appreciate a big crowd for the double dip.
Make a point to be there
tonight. At the very least, it’ll get your mind off of football for a while!
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