Men's Basketball Turns Back N.C. Central In Exhibition Play
Nov. 12, 2005
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Senior forward Corey Rouse scored 20 points and junior guard Japhet McNeil handed out 12 assists as East Carolina defeated North Carolina Central, 67-60, in an exhibition game here Saturday night.
The Pirates fell behind early, 10-2, but closed out the first half on a 32-13 run as Rouse scored half of his points before intermission and grabbed seven of his game-high nine rebounds. The Kinston (N.C.) native finished the game 8-of-13 from the field and was 4-of-6 from the foul line. Junior college transfer Courtney Captain also finished in double figures with 13 points, 10 of which came during the second half.
"I thought we got off to a slow start, but I will give the guys a lot of credit, they continued to play hard," stated Pirate head coach Ricky Stokes. "Japhet [McNeil] did a great job of distributing the basketball, he had 12 assists and Corey played well, especially when we needed him in the second half. Overall I am pleased with the win."
N.C. Central, which got a game-high 24 points from forward Drew Johnson, chipped away at the Pirates' 11-point halftime lead after intermission cutting the lead to seven, 34-27, less than two minutes into period. ECU answered with six straight points and eventually built itself a 16-point advantage on a jumper from freshman Sam Hinnant with 5:18 remaining, 61-45, before holding on for a seven-point victory.
East Carolina used its defensive prowess to force the Eagles into 21 turnovers and conversely scored 25 points off those miscues, including 10 in transition.
East Carolina opens the regular season Friday night, November 18, as it host North Carolina A&T at home. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.