Pirates Return Home To Face Lenoir-Rhyne
Nov. 23, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. --- East Carolina returns home Wednesday night to begin a five-game homestand against predominantly instate foes starting with Lenoir-Rhyne. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the women's volleyball team, which plays Marshall at 4 p.m.
The Pirates enter the game with a 3-2 record following a 75-67 victory over USC Upstate on Sunday. Seniors Jamar Abrams and Jontae Sherrod combined for 33 points to lead the Pirates to a seventh-place finish at the Charleston Classic. Sherrod made 15-of-17 free throws with Abrams sinking 3-of-7 three-point field goals.
ECU went 1-2 during the four-day tournament suffering losses to N.C. State and Charlotte. The Pirates will get another chance at the 49ers next week when they host their cross-state foe inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Dec. 1.
"We're excited to get out there and get a chance to play and see if we can do some things better," Pirate coach Jeff Lebo said. "Our execution needs to be a little bit better and obviously shooting the basketball from the perimeter is always a concern."
The Pirates struggled to make perimeter shots during the tournament, connecting on just 25.9 percent (15-58) from behind the arc, which includes a 7-for-19 performance against Upstate.
"Our effort has been good, but a consistent perimeter shooter is something we need." Lebo explained. "[Petar] Torlak did a nice job coming in off the bench against Upstate when the went zone. Jontae [Sherrod] really struggled shooting the basketball after having such a great game against Campbell. [Jamar Abrams, Erin Straughn] at the wing spots really have to be able to make some open shots for us."
While the jumpers weren't falling, the Pirates freshmen big men were making the most of their time around the basket. Darius Morales and Robert Sampson combined to go 12-of-21 from the floor in the three games. Morales had eight points in 10 minutes against Charlotte and Sampson scored 10 points in 16 minutes versus N.C. State.
"Both Darius and Robert have been a pleasant surprise as far as coming off the bench and giving us quality minutes," Lebo said.
The Pirates will have a decisive size advantage over the Bears Wednesday night. The Bears only have one player listed at 6-foot-8 or taller, while the Pirates have four.
Lenoir-Rhyne will also be without its leading scorer and All-America candidate D.J. Blackmon, who suffered a knee injury over the weekend and could possibly be lost for the season. Blackmon was averaging 27.5 points per contest after two games.
Wednesday night's game will be the first meeting between the two instate foes since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.