Pirates Ready To Tangle With The Tigers In Memphis

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UABSPORTS.COM

Feb. 21, 2012

     vs.   
East Carolina vs. Memphis
Feb. 18, 2012 | 8 p.m. EST
Memphis, Tenn.

TV: CBS Sports Network
Gametracker Live Stats | Game Notes Game Notes | Tickets | Gameday Central
MEDIA INFORMATION
Date Feb. 22, 2012
Location Memphis, Tenn.
Tickets Online Ticket Center
TV CBS Sports Network
Live Video Unavailable 
Radio Pirate IMG Sports Network
Live Stats Gametracker
Game Notes East Carolina
Twitter @ECUPirateHoops
EAST CAROLINA PIRATES
Record 12-13, 3-9 C-USA
Last Game Lost to UCF, 64-55
Head Coach Jeff Lebo (North Carolina, 1989)
Career: 241-185 (13th season)
ECU Record: 30-29 (2nd season)
MEMPHIS TIGERS
Record 19-8, 9-3 C-USA
Last Game Lost to UTEP, 60-58
Head Coach Josh Pastner (Arizona, 1998)
Career Record: 68-28 (3rd season)
Record at School: Same

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAME
• The Pirates will be looking to end a three-game losing streak Wednesday night against Memphis, that started two weeks ago against the Tigers. ECU had won three straight before losing to Memphis at home.
• East Carolina is 0-9 in Memphis since joining Conference USA. The Pirates are 0-5 against the Tigers and 0-4 in Conference USA Tournament games played at FedExForum.
• ECU has been a streaky team this season. Three times it has won three or more consecutive games and three times it has lost three or more straight games. The Pirates longest winning streak of the season is five and its longest losing streak is six.
• East Carolina leads Conference USA in steals per game overall (8.2), while Memphis leads the league in that category in league games only (7.9).
• The Pirates have posted a higher shooting percentage than its opponent in four of the last six games, winning three of those contests.
• ECU has handed out 17 assists on 23 made field goals in each of the last two games. Nearly 60-percent (.599) of its field goals this season have been credited with an assist.
• After shooting over 35 percent from behind the arc in four straight games, the Pirates shot a season-low .167 (4-24) from 3 on Saturday at UCF. They rank fourth in 3-point shooting (.347) against Conference USA opponents.
• Senior Darrius Morrow and junior Corvonn Gaines are on the verge of becoming the eighth and ninth players in school history to amass 100 steals in a career. Morrow needs one to reach the century mark, while Gaines is two shy.

PIRATES TO WATCH
• Senior Darrius Morrow has scored double figures in 16 of the last 18 games, shooting 56.5 percent from the floor (100-of-177). Morrow is averaging 14.4 ppg in conference play.
• Junior Miguel Paul leads Conference USA in assists per game (5.9) and total assists (148). Paul ranks second in the league assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3). He currently in fifth-place on the school's single-season chart.
• Sophomore Robert Sampson is coming off his second straight double figure scoring game with 10 points at UCF. In the previous game against Marshall, he double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He made 7-of-8 field goals, including 3-of-4 behind the arc.
• Junior Shamarr Bowden netted double figures with 10 points against Memphis in the first meeting between this season. He ranks among the top five in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made per game.
• Junior Maurice Kemp returned to the court Saturday against UCF after missing the Marshall game with a foot injury. He had eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

SERIES HISTORY
• Memphis leads the all-time series, 11-1.

LAST TIME WE MET
• Chris Crawford scored 16 points and Wesley Witherspoon recorded a double-double to push Memphis past East Carolina 70-59 earlier this season. Will Barton added 15 points, while Witherspoon scored 12 and pulled down 11 boards for the Tigers. Miguel Paul paced ECU with 13 points and a game-high eight assists, while Darrius Morrow and Shamarr Bowden chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Maurice Kemp pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. The teams were knotted up at 20-20 with 8:49 left in the first half after a follow dunk by Kemp. The Tigers seized control behind a 17-5 spurt, which staked them to a 37-25 halftime lead out-scoring the Pirates 24-12 in the paint in the opening stanza. ECU was able to keep it close early with hot shooting. The Pirates connected on 8-of-13 attempts from the field to begin the contest including a pair of treys from Erin Straughn, but did not make a field goal the final 3:36 of the half. Memphis pushed its lead to 46-30 early in the second half after an old-fashioned 3-point play from Crawford with 18:06 remaining. Following a flagrant foul on Memphis' Joe Jackson, Bowden sank a pair of free throws and Paul buried a 3 from the top of key capping a stretch of 10 unanswered points by the Pirates, cutting the Tigers' advantage to six, 46-40. Jackson ended the Pirates' run with a pair of made free throws and Tarik Black extended the Tigers' lead back to double figures with 12:05 left. Robert Sampson made a short jumper on the ensuing possession that cut the deficit to 50-42, but the Pirates would get no closer as Memphis held on for the victory. Memphis shot 50-percent from the field in the final 20 minutes, while it held ECU to just 12-of-34. The Pirates finished the contest 22-of-57, a 38.6-percent clip, compared to 46.7-percent by the Tigers (28-60).

LAST YEAR IN MEMPHIS
• Tarik Black had 12 points and seven rebounds and No. 21 Memphis survived another scare before beating East Carolina 61-58 in the Conference USA opener for both teams a year ago. The win wasn't assured until the Tigers' Chris Crawford stole the ball with time running out as the Pirates had a chance to tie the game. Will Coleman added 11 points for the Tigers (12-3, 1-0), who did not have a field goal in the final 5:23 of the game, and didn't help themselves by hitting on 6 of their 11 free throws over that stretch. That allowed the Pirates to stay within striking distance. East Carolina had a chance at the last shot to tie the game. But Chris Crawford stole the ball on the possession, ending the threat. Darrius Morrow led East Carolina with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Jamar Abrams added 15. Brock Young scored 10 for East Carolina, which lost its second straight. Memphis led 33-21 at halftime after holding the Pirates scoreless almost 7 minutes midway through the first half. That helped Memphis score 12 unanswered points and erase an early lead. The Pirates hit their first four shots as Memphis seemed sluggish getting to the perimeter. But the Tigers finally awoke with a push of energy and limited the Pirates to just one made field goal on their next 13 attempts. At halftime, Memphis defense held East Carolina to 29 percent shooting and forced 12 turnovers. The Pirates came out firing from long-range to get back into the game. East Carolina hit five of its first seven long-range shots, then put together six straight points to tie the game at 49 with just under 8 minutes left. The teams were still tied at 56 with 3:50 left, but Memphis hit enough of its free throws down the stretch to hold off the Pirates.

UP NEXT
• The Pirates will return home Saturday to face UAB at 5 p.m. EST inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.