Jan. 22, 2014
SETTING THE SCENE
East Carolina will try to avoid an 0-4 start in Conference USA when it host Tulane inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Thursday night. The Pirates have lost five of their last six games entering the contest.
The Pirates are in search of their first home win since Dec. 19, losing their last two games at Minges to Georgia State (89-82) and Old Dominion (80-71). ECU is 6-3 at home this year, while Tulane owns a 2-2 record on the road.
East Carolina has won five straight over the Green Wave and six of the last eight games in the series.
Tulane (.725) and ECU (.713) rank one and two in C-USA play in free throw percentage. The Green Wave ranks 25th in the nation with 362 free throws made, while the Pirates are 28th with 360. The two also rank among the top 35 in attempts (ECU 28th, Tulane 34th).
East Carolina has the second-highest 3-point percentage in the league at 37.1 percent, while Tulane yields the third worst 3-point shooting percentage at 36.0 percent.
The Pirates were held to their two lowest offensive outputs of the season over the weekend, scoring 67 points at Florida Atlantic and 64 at FIU. ECU is 0-4 this season when scoring 70 points or less.
Freshman Brandan Stith is doubtful for Thursday night's game after being injured in Saturday's game at FIU.
Sophomore Michael Zangari has the longest active double figures scoring streak at five games. Senior Akeem Richmond was held to under 10 points for the first time this season Saturday at FIU, scoring just nine points.
Richmond has made three or more 3s in eight straight games and leads the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game with 4.67.
Tulane holds a 10-7 advantage in the all-time series. The Pirates are 5-3 against the Green Wave at home, but just 2-6 in New Orleans. The two also met in the first round of the 2009 C-USA tournament with Tulane posting a 10-point win.
The two teams have played every year since 2003. Tulane won eight of the first nine meetings, while as the Pirates have claimed six of the last eight affairs. The rivalry will continue into next season as both are headed to the American Athletic Conference.
East Carolina will be back home to host Southern Miss on Saturday (Jan. 25). It's the only game scheduled between the two, which have met twice each season since 2007. The Golden Eagles have won 10 straight over the Pirates, who last won a game in the series on Feb. 4, 2009.
The Pirates will be back on the road next week for games at Middle Tennessee (Thursday) and UAB (Saturday).