Dec. 20, 2013
Setting The Scene
East Carolina will play its second game in three days when it travels to Raleigh to face instate rival NC State at PNC Arena on Saturday at noon. The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports and broadcast online at ESPN3.com.
The Pirates have won four in a row and six of their last seven games entering Saturday's contest. NC State enters the contest on six-game winning streak.
ECU is 1-1 in true road games this season, winning at UNCG and falling to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Overall, the Pirates are 4-1 away from the comforts of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville. NC State has a 7-1 record at home this year.
ECU is looking to start the season with 11 wins in its first 13 games for the first time in school history. The Pirates have previously opened a season with a 10-2 record twice, but each time lost game No. 13.It's the first time that ECU has ever had 10 wins before Christmas.
East Carolina will look to snap a nine-game losing streak to ACC foes. It's last win over an ACC teams was Dec. 8, 2007 against NC State.
The Pirates are searching for the program's first-ever road win against an ACC opponent. ECU is 0-56 all-time on the road versus ACC competition, playing over two-thirds of those games against Duke (0-20) and NC State (0-18).
The Pirates are second in the nation in free throws made with 270 (thru Dec. 19).
The home team has won every game in the series (except for one neutral site game). ECU handed NC State a 75-69 setback on Dec. 8, 2007 in the Wolfpack's only visit to Greenville. The instate rivals played 14 times from 1968-82 before the series was halted. The two teams did not meet again until the championship game of the 2001 BCA Invitational at the RBC Center. Saturday's game will be the sixth meeting in the last 10 years between the two.
Lebo vs. The Wolfpack And Its Coach
ECU Head Coach Jeff Lebo has compiled an all-time record of 8-5 as a player, assistant coach and head coach against NC State. As a player at North Carolina, Lebo was 6-3 vs. the Wolfpack, winning twice at Reynolds Coliseum. As an assistant coach at East Tennessee State, the Buccaneers swept a home-and-home series from the `Pack in 1990 and `92. As a head coach, he lost a pair of neutral site games to NC State, one at Auburn (Orlando) and one at ECU (Charleston).
Lebo coached teams are 4-8 all-time against Mark Gottfried coached teams. During the five years they went head-to-head in Alabama-Auburn rivalry, Lebo's Tigers posted a 4-5 record against Gottfried's Crimson Tide. Lebo's Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga teams were a combined 0-3 against Gottfried's Alabama squad.
East Carolina - NC State Connections
ECU freshman Greg Alexander (Kecoughtan) and NC State freshman Anthony Barber (Hampton) played at rival high schools in Hampton, Va. Alexander scored 15 points in Kecoughtan's 54-49 victory over Hampton last season with Barber scoring 23 points for his team.
Pirate sophomore Prince Williams and Wolfpack junior Staats Battle were teammates at Broughton High School in Raleigh.
ECU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher served as an assistant director of athletics at NC State from 1986-92.
East Carolina vs. The ACC
In 86 games against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pirates have compiled a 7-79 record. Five of those games have been played at neutral sites while 74 have been on the road.
Excluding Virginia Tech, who hasn't played ECU since joining the ACC, current members of the North Carolina-based conference have ventured to Greenville a grand total of seven times. Clemson (2007, `10) has made the trip twice, while Georgia Tech (1979), North Carolina (1953), NC State (2007), Virginia (1968) and Wake Forest (2008) have visited once each.
Last Time Out
Six players scored in double figures as East Carolina defeated VMI, 103-94, at home Thursday night. It was the second time this year that six players reached double figures.
Freshman Caleb White and sophomore Prince Williams each posted their first career 20-point games with White scoring 24 points and Williams netting 22.
Neither Williams nor freshman forward Brandan Stith missed a shot the entire game. Williams was 5-of-5 from the field and 12-of-12 at the free throw line. Likewise, Stith was 4-of-4 from the floor and 2-of-2 at the foul line.
Stith produced his third double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) of the season and seventh double figure rebounding game.
It was the Pirates' first 100-point game against a Division I opponent since scoring 104 versus UNCG on Dec. 28, 2000.
The Pirates won the rebounding for the fourth time in seven games without 6-10 center Marshall Guilmette.
ECU had over 40 free throw attempts for the third time in the last four games.
Four players saw more than 30 minutes of action for the third straight game as ECU used just seven players for the second time this year.
The Pirates posted their second-highest shooting percentage of the season at 55.6 percent (30-54). They also made a season-high 35 free throws.
A Look Ahead
East Carolina will be off for the holidays before hosting Georgia State on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. The Pirates defeated the Panthers in Atlanta last season.
The Pirates open conference play on Saturday, Jan. 11, against former CAA rival Old Dominion. ECU and Old Dominion will meet in primetime for the 7 p.m. locally televised contest.