Jan. 24, 2014
SETTING THE SCENE
East Carolina will look to end a four-game slide and earn its first Conference USA win of the season Saturday night as it welcomes Southern Miss to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The coaching staffs from both East Carolina and Southern Miss will be wearing sneakers as past of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Awareness Weekend, January 24-26.
After opening the season 6-1 at home, the Pirates will look to avoid their fourth consecutive loss inside Minges Coliseum.
ECU and Southern Miss are on different streaks entering Saturday night's game. The Pirates have lost four in a row and six of their last seven, while Southern Miss has won three straight and eight of its last nine.
The two teams rank one (Southern Miss) and three (East Carolina) in C-USA in field goal percentage. The Golden Eagles are shooting 46.6 percent from the floor, while the Pirates are shooting a 46.0 percent clip. However, ECU is shooting just 39.2 percent in league play.
East Carolina has the league's second-highest scoring offense at 80.1 ppg, but has yet to score more than 70 in conference play. Southern Miss has C-USA's top defense, allowing just 63.2 ppg.
Freshman Brandan Stith is questionable for Saturday night's game after being injured a week ago at FIU. He didn't play Thursday against Tulane.
The Pirates were held to their three lowest offensive outputs of the season during their last three games, scoring 67 at Florida Atlantic, 64 at FIU and 54 versus Tulane. ECU is 0-5 this season when scoring 70 points or less.
Despite being vastly undersized, East Carolina has won the battle of the boards two of the last four games.
Senior Akeem Richmond currently has the second-highest single-season 3-point field goal per game averaging C-USA history at 4.63. Charlotte's Demon Brown average 4.72 3s per game during the 2002-03 season.
THE SOUTHERN MISS SERIES
The series with Southern Miss dates back to the early 70s with ECU winning the first two games in `71 and `72. The two teams didn't meet again until the Pirates joined C-USA in 2002. ECU won the first four meetings as conference rivals.
Southern Miss has won 15 of the 16 games played since 2006.
The Pirates will be back on the road next week for games at Middle Tennessee (Thursday) and UAB (Saturday).
ECU will return home Feb. 6 and 8 to face UTEP and UTSA. The Feb. 6 game against UTEP will tip at 9 p.m. be televised on Fox Sports 1.