East Carolina will look to take the momentum it built in the second half against 13th-ranked Cincinnati this past Wednesday and use it to score its first Conference USA victory win of the year Saturday afternoon against UAB at 1 o'clock inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus.
Both teams are coming off six-point home losses earlier in the week. UAB lost to Charlotte in Birmingham Wednesday, 91-85, while Cincinnati slipped by ECU by the same margin, 84-78.
Despite suffering its third consecutive loss, East Carolina displayed a lot of resiliency against the Bearcats. Trailing by 20 early in the second half, the Pirates valiantly fought back and eventually trimmed its deficit to a mere four points led by junior Corey Rouse. Rouse scored 17 of his team-high 21 points after halftime and grabbed 13 rebounds, as ECU out-rebounded the mighty Bearcats 47-32.
Rouse's effort on the glass elevated him into the top spot in the conference in rebounding. Rouse leads Conference USA in rebounding with 9.8 rebounds per game.
Four players finished in double figures for East Carolina. Sophomore Mike Cook poured in 19 points, while junior college transfer Mike Castro netted double figures for the first time as a Pirate scoring 10 points. Sophomore Moussa Badiane contributed 14 points as well.
UAB's loss to Charlotte snapped a six-game winning streak and was its first loss of the season at home. Five players scored double figures in the loss led by DeMario Eddins' game-high 23 points.
The Blazers rank second in the nation in steals per game (12.1) with four players ranking among the top 15 in the league led by Donnell Taylor. Taylor ranks third behind Charlotte's Eddie Basden and ECU's Japhet McNeil with 2.56 swipes per outing.
In addition to trying to end its three-game losing streak, East Carolina will to secure its first win over the Blazers. The Pirates are 0-3 all-time against UAB, including a pair of three-point losses last year to a Blazer team that shared the C-USA regular season title and reached the Sweet 16.
Back On The Road Next Week
After playing a pair of games at home this week, the Pirates will venture out on the road next week. East Carolina travels to No. 19 Louisville on Wednesday, then heads north to Chicago to face DePaul on Saturday. It'll be the final conference game for ECU against both teams as the Cardinals and Blue Demons are each departing for the Big East Conference at season's end.
In The Midst Of Tough Stretch
East Carolina is in the midst of arguably its toughest part of the schedule this season. The Pirates will be playing their third of five consecutive games against 2004 NCAA Tournament and eight against postseason tournament teams. Following Saturday's game against UAB, East Carolina will make its final trek to Freedom Hall on Wednesday to face nationally-ranked Louisville.
Herrion Radio Show Monday
East Carolina Head Coach Bill Herrion's weekly radio call-in show, regularly conducted each Thursday night from Logan's Roadhouse on Greenville Blvd., will take place this Monday night, January 17 instead of its normal Thursday night due to the Pirates' travel plans for the upcoming week. Hosted by "Voice of the Pirates" Jeff Charles, the show runs from 7-8 and fans are invited to chat with Coach Herrion by calling locally at 317-1250.
The Book On UAB
ECU-UAB Series History