After playing its last three games on the road, East Carolina returns home Saturday night to face DePaul in a Conference USA match-up. The Pirates, still winless in league play after six games, will be looking to snap a seven-game overall slide and post its first conference victory of the season.
Despite a valiant effort from the entire team, East Carolina was unable to upset seventh-ranked Cincinnati this past Wednesday and fell to the Bearcats by 23, 80-57, in Cincinnati. Senior Derrick Wiley led the Pirates with a game-high 18 points, while freshman Mike Cook scored 14 points.
DePaul has had the entire week to prepare for East Carolina as the Blue Demons haven't played since losing by one on the road at Marquette, 70-69, this past Saturday. DePaul led by as many as 12 in the first half before succumbing to the Golden Eagles. Quemont Greer led the Blue Demons with 20 points, while Drake Diener and Sammy Meja added 12 points each.
The East Carolina-DePaul game will be televised throughout eastern North Carolina on WITN-TV Ch.7. "Voice of the Pirates" Jeff Charles and WITN Sports Director Billy Weaver will serve as the game's telecasters. The game will also be carried on the Pirate Sports Radio Network. Reese Edwards calls the play-by-play action and Si Seymour serves as the network's color analysis, while Greg Pierce is the engineer.
East Carolina enters Saturday's game with an overall record of 8-8 and 0-6 in Conference USA. After winning eight of its first nine game, the Pirates have dropped their last seven games and is looking to earn first league victory of the season. DePaul has an overall record of 10-7 and 3-3 in Conference USA. After dropping its first two league games, DePaul recorded three consecutive wins over Memphis, UAB and TCU before falling at Marquette.
East Carolina head coach Bill Herrion (Merrimack College, '81) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Pirates' program after eight successful years at Drexel University. Herrion has amassed a career record of 223-144 (.609) in 13 seasons as a head coach and has a record of 56-73 (.438) during his tenure at East Carolina.
DePaul head coach Dave Leitao (Northeastern '83) is in his second season at DePaul and has a record of 26-20 at the school. Leitao is 48-55 in four seasons as a head coach.
ECU and DePaul are meeting for the fifth time in their brief history. DePaul has won all four meetings between the two schools, which have each occurred during the past two seasons.