East Carolina Returns Home To Face Old Dominion
East Carolina will look to bounce back from Tuesday night's heartbreaking overtime loss at Western Carolina Sunday as it host former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum at 1:30. The Pirates have won each of their first two home games of the season and will look to extend their current home-game winning streak to six games, dating back to last season.
Home has been a friendlier place for the Pirates early this season. Through its first two games at Minges Coliseum, East Carolina is averaging 75.0 points per game and shooting better than 50 percent (.518) from the floor, while holding its opponents to 60.5 points and 34.2 percent shooting per game. In its home opener against Division II Belmont Abbey, the Pirates recorded a 27-point victory, then after leading by as many as 17 in the first half, held off preseason MAC favorite Toledo, 73-71.
A trio of Pirates are currently averaging double figures, led by senior Moussa Badiane with 16.3 points per game. Sophomore Mike Cook ranks just behind him with 16.0 ppg, while junior Corey Rouse is contributing 12.0 points per contest.
The Pirates are beginning to develop some depth, but with six true freshmen on the roster, they are still juggling people in and out of the game. Seven players are averaging over 18 minutes per game, while five of those seven are playing over 24 minutes per game. Cook is on the floor more than any other player, averaging 34.1 minutes per game, while Badiane is also playing more than 30 minutes per game (30.8).
East Carolina is averaging 70.3 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from the field as a team. The Pirates hold a slight rebounding advantage over their opponents, winning the battle of the boards by a margin of +0.6. Defensively, ECU has limited its opponents to a 41.8 shooting clip from the floor this year and have forced an average of 14.0 turnovers per game through the first seven games of the season.
The Book On Old Dominion
Old Dominion enters Sunday's contest with a 7-1 mark on the season following a 70-54 win at Liberty on Tuesday. The Monarchs have won three straight and have posted a 2-1 record on the road this season. The team opened the season with four straight wins over South Alabama, Kent State, TCU and Shawnee State before suffering its first loss to Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.
Old Dominion is averaging 73.1 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting with 37.1 rebounds, 16.8 assists, and 10.0 steals.
Junior guard Isaiah Hunter is one of three Monarchs in double figures, averaging a team-leading 12.9 points per game. Sophomore Arnaud Dahi (12.3) and junior Alex Loughton (12.0) are also each averaging double figures.
The Monarchs return four starters and eight lettermen from last year's team that finished 17-12 overall and 11-7 in the CAA. Old Dominion was picked to win the conference in the preseason coaches' poll.
Old Dominion is coached by Blaine Taylor, who is 49-44 in his three-plus years at ODU and has a career record of 191-109 in 10-plus years as a head coach.
The Monarchs have three players on their roster from North Carolina: Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte), Jason Thompson (Sanford), and Drew Williamson (Burlington).
East Carolina and Old Dominion share two common opponents this season. Both teams play at TCU and DePaul. Old Dominion has already defeated the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth this season.
Old Dominion leads the all-time series 32-14. The Pirates have won three of the past five meetings, including a 75-67 win in Norfolk on December 7, 2002, which is the last time the two teams met.
The Pirates and Monarchs have played twice since East Carolina left the CAA for Conference USA in 2001. Each team has won on its opponent's home court. ODU defeated ECU, 53-52, in Greenville on December 8, 2001, while ECU beat ODU, 75-67, in Norfolk on December 7, 2002.
East Carolina won the first meeting between the two schools in Greenville on January 14, 1967, 90-88. The Pirates are 7-17 versus ODU inside Minges Coliseum.
Since 1996, the two teams have split the past 14 games, with each side winning seven games each. East Carolina is 5-2 against Old Dominion in the seven games played inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
ECU Head Coach Bill Herrion is 4-2 all-time against Old Dominion.
Since We Last Met (12-7-02)
ECU senior Moussa Badiane is the only player on the roster to ever play against Old Dominion. He has played two games against ODU. As a freshman, Badiane blocked an ECU record eight shots versus the Monarchs in Greenville. As a sophomore he rejected four ODU shots in Norfolk. Corey Rouse didn't play against ODU as a rookie in the game at Norfolk.
Old Dominion juniors Isaiah Hunter and Alex Loughton are the only monarchs to ever suit up against East Carolina. As freshmen in 2002, hunter scored five points and handed four assists, while Loughton scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Badiane Closing In On Blocked Shots Record
ECU senior center Moussa Badiane is closing in on the Conference USA career record blocked shots. During the first six games of the year Badiane has rejected 23 shots, an average of 3.8 per game. Badiane currently sits 30 blocked shots behind former Cincinnati All-American Kenyon Martin on the league's all-time list. Martin swatted 292 shots during his career.
However, before he can pass Martin, he must first overtake former USF star Gerrick Morris. Badiane needs one to move into second place alongside Morris, who swatted 263 shots during his career.
As a junior last year, he broke his own school record for blocks in a season by swatting away 90 shots, fourth highest single season total in league history. In fact, he has two of the top five single season block totals in league history. He blocked 87 shots, as a freshman which ranks as the fifth best total in the conference record books. Badiane's 262 rejections already rank as an ECU career record.
Looking To Extend Streaks East Carolina will look to extend a pair of homecourt winning streaks Sunday against Old Dominion. The Pirates have won 10 consecutive non-conference games inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum and five in-a-row overall dating back to last season.
Since Bill Herrion took over the reigns of the East Carolina basketball program in 1999-2000, the Pirates have created a unique homecourt advantage. ECU is 47-25 (.647) inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum since the dawning of the new millennium and have posted 10 victories on its homecourt in three of the past four seasons. More impressive than that is the Pirates' non-conference inside the coliseum. ECU is 25-5 against non-conference opponents, winning percentage of 83.3 percent.
Moose Is Loose Senior Moussa Badiane has gotten his final season off to a good start. He leads Conference USA in block shots per game (3.8) and ranks fifth nationally. Moussa has also taken his scoring up a notch, averaging 16.3 ppg, 10th best in C-USA. He also ranks among the league leaders in numerous other categories: Rebounding (7.6-12th), Field Goal Percentage (.615-6th), and Offensive Rebounds (3.67-4th). His six blocked shots against Belmont Abbey are the most by any Conference USA player this season.
Rouse Beginning To Emerge Junior Corey Rouse is beginning to emerge into a standout performer for East Carolina. Over the past five games he has scored 71 points (14.2 ppg), grabbed 43 rebounds (8.6 rpg) and recorded two double-doubles. Rouse has done of nice job of getting shots close to the basket and as a result has the third highest field goal percentage of any player in Conference USA (.654). More on Rouse:
Prior to this season he had never started a game. He has started all seven games this year.
Rouse ranks ninth in the league in rebounding (7.9) and seventh in defensive rebounds (5.26).
He scored a career-high 21 points, while connecting on 9-of-11 shots from the field.
Has pulled down at least eight rebounds in each of the past four games and has scored double figures in six of seven games this season.
Next Game Friday
As the university conducts final exams this week, the Pirates will take some time off to study. East Carolina's next game is Friday, December 17 against Winthrop in Greenville. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The Pirates lead the all-time series with the Eagles, 4-1. Friday's game will be the first meeting between the two since December 15, 1988 (ECU 75, WU 67).