Feb. 23, 2011
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East Carolina Women's Basketball Gameday Central
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Location: Minges Coliseum (8,000) Greenville, N.C.
Series History: Tulsa leads, 4-2
Last Time Against Tulsa: L, 61-57 (2/21/10 at Greenville, N.C.)
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GREENVILLE, N.C. - With just three contests remaining in the regular season, East Carolina starts a two-game homestand Thursday against Tulsa. Tipoff between the Pirates and Golden Hurricane is set for 7 p.m.
ECU is in a three-way tie for sixth-place in the league standings with UAB and SMU, holding the tiebreaker over both teams, while sitting one game behind Tulane and Memphis for fourth. East Carolina dropped a 69-52 decision at UCF Sunday, failing to reach 60 points for the first time this season. The Pirates look to avenge one of just two home losses last season, as the Golden Hurricane won 61-57 in Greenville Feb. 21.
The Pirates are 12-14 overall entering the contest as well as 6-7 in C-USA action. Senior Kim Gay netted double-figure points for the 12th-straight time in the loss at UCF as she scored 11 to go along with 10 from junior Ashley Clarke. ECU was out-rebounded 56-36 as the Knights grabbed 28 offensive rebounds - including 19 in the first half. The Pirates are using their depth to their advantage as a bench player has scored in double figures in 23 of the last 26 games. With the win against SMU, ECU secured its seventh-straight non-losing record inside Minges Coliseum. The Pirates can clinch a winning ledger with a triumph in tonight's contest. Addtiionally, East Carolina is currently ranked in the top three in five statistical categories in the league in terms of conference games only.
Tulsa is 5-16 overall and 1-12 in league play after a 53-46 home loss to Marshall Sunday. The Golden Hurricane have dropped nine-straight games with its last win occurring at Southern Miss in a 74-71 decision Jan. 16. Sophomore Taleya Mayberry is the only Tulsa player averaging double figures in scoring as she has been netting 14.8 points per game. Loren McDaniel is the top rebounder for the Golden Hurricane at 6.5 a contest. Tulsa scores 62 points on average but gives up 71. In terms of shooting the ball, the Golden Hurricane are 36 percent from the field, 27 percent from beyond the arc and 64 percent at the free throw line. Tulsa also owns a -2.2 margin on the boards and are right at 40 rebounds per game.
THE LAST MEETING (FEBRUARY 21, 2010)...
Despite a double-double effort from sophomore Ashley Clarke, the East Carolina women's basketball team suffered a 61-57 loss to Tulsa in its last home contest of the 2009-10 season Sunday afternoon at Minges Coliseum. The crowd of 2,808 was the ninth-largest in program history and the Lady Pirates (18-8, 7-6) finished 12-2 at home for the second-straight campaign. Clarke grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds and completed the double-double with 11 assists while falling five points shy of the first triple-double in program history.
AS IT STANDS NOW...
Here is a look at how the 2011 Conference USA Tournament picture is shaping up. All Conference USA tiebreakers have been taken into consideration.
1. Houston (13-0)
2. UCF (9-4)
3. Rice (9-4)
4. Tulane (7-6)
5. Memphis (7-6)
6. East Carolina (6-7)
7. UAB (6-7)
8. SMU (6-7)
9. UTEP (5-8)
10. Southern Miss (5-8)
11. Marshall (4-9)
12. Tulsa (1-12)
Current Projected First Round Matchups
(5) Memphis vs. (12) Tulsa (Winner Plays Tulane)
(6) East Carolina vs. (11) Marshall (Winner Plays Rice)
(7) UAB vs. (10) Southern Miss (Winner Plays UCF)
(8) SMU vs. (9) UTEP (Winner Plays Houston)
CONFERENCE USA: THE 10TH SEASON...
East Carolina is in its 10th year as a basketball member of C-USA. Starting in 2001, the Pirates became eligible to compete for the league title after contributing 17 years as a constituent of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Four years ago, ECU finished third in the regular season standings, its highest ranking since joining the conference. The Pirates also notched their first league tournament title with 79-70 triumph over Rice in the 2007 championship game at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
SUCCESS CLOSER TO HOME...
Since Conference USA split into East and West divisions before the 2005-06 campaign, ECU has fared much better against its eastern neighbors. In five seasons, the Pirates have recorded a 46-30 (.605) mark against the eastern members while producing a 18-32 (.360) ledger vs. the western side.
ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE...
The Pirates have taken on some of the nation's best this season. According to realtimerpi.com, ECU's slate is ranked as the 51st-toughest in the country. Among the teams the Pirates have faced are UCLA (8), Maryland (11), Houston (30), Charlotte (62), UNC Wilmington (77), UCF (79), VCU (81), Hampton (88), Tulane (91) and Memphis (99).
SIGNED AND SEALED...
The Pirates have signed two top 65 position recruits in Courtney Melvin and Ja'Nesha Ebron as well as the No. 102 ranked forward from Columbus, Ohio, Tatiana Chapple. Melvin was ranked the No. 31 post player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz while Ebron was tabbed No. 61 among guards by the same website. Both signees have North Carolina state championship game experience, as Melvin has led East Bladen High School to the last two title games (1A and 2A) and Ebron helped South Central to a 3A championship appearance. Current assistant coach Ann Hancock held the scoring record at East Bladen with 2,276 but Melvin broke it in the first half of a recent win - scoring the needed layup at the halftime buzzer.
IT'S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU FINISH...
If the stats are any indication thus far, the Pirates can certainly call themselves a "second half" team. ECU has scored 998 points in the second 20 minutes as opposed to 866 in the first stanza.
WIRE TO WIRE...
In four of the Pirates' 10 wins this season, they have led the entire game. Virginia Union, Massachusetts, Prairie View and UAB were the teams that could not manage a lead against ECU.
50 PERCENT? No PROBLEM!...
In two of the last three games, the Pirates have shot the ball 56 percent or better from the field, including a season-best 58-percent performance against SMU. Those two efforts have helped ECU to rank fourth in the league in field goal percentage in conference games.
LIVING IN THE SIXTIES...
Before scoring just 52 points in the loss at UCF Sunday, the Pirates had reached the 60-point plateau in 25-straight contests. The last time East Carolina did not reach 60 points was an 87-52 loss at Maryland in the second round of the 2010 WNIT. In comparison, the 2009-10 squad failed to score at least 60 in a contest nine times.
TAKE THE LEAD AND RUN...
In 13 of their 14 losses, the Pirates have trailed at the half. Conversely, they have won 11 games when leading at the break and one when the score was tied.
ALL IT TAKES IS 30...
East Carolina converted 32 field goals against SMU, marking the 28th time since the start of the 2006-07 campaign that the Pirates have accomplished the feat.
PAY ATTENTION DOWN THERE AT THE END...
It seems like the Pirate bench gets deeper with each passing season and is an extension of the starting five. There is some truth to that statement, as East Carolina's bench has outscored its opponents' benches in 70 of the last 90 games and 19 of 26 this year.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THAT WITH THE WHOLE TEAM?...
The Pirates recorded 28 assists on 36 made field goals against Massachusetts. It was just seven shy of the school record and the most since ECU tallied the same number against Houston-Baptist last season. Additionally, the Pirates turned the ball over just nine times for a stellar assist/turnover ratio of 3.1. The Pirates also shared the ball well against UCF, registering 20 assists on 23 baskets and then again against SMU with 27 helpers on 32 buckets.
I'LL TAKE THREE...
In hitting 12 three-point field goals against Virginia Union, the Pirates established a new program single-game record. However, just six days later, ECU did one better with 13 vs. Massachusetts then did it again against Florida A&M in Iowa and at home against Southern Miss Thursday. With four triples at Marshall senior Allison Spivey took over sole possession of first-place on the program ledger.
THE GOOD KIND OF OFFENSIVE...
ECU owns the top two offensive outputs among C-USA teams this season with 102 points against Virginia Union and 97 vs. Massachusetts. The Pirates also boast one of the two highest single-game assist totals - 28 against the Minutewomen. Additionally, the 91 points scored against Southern Miss were the most by a C-USA team in a conference game this season.
PIRATES ROLL DEEP...
In 24 of the last 26 games, at least one player off the bench has scored in double figures. In fact, in the contests against UNC Wilmington, Virginia Union, Prarie View A&M, Memphis and Rice, two players that did not start netted at least 10 points.
A NEW LOW...
Marshall's 43 points are the least ECU has ever allowed in a Conference USA road contest. The previous mark was 52 by Southern Miss when the Pirates went down to Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg and won a 68-52 decision on Feb. 22, 2007.
FREE THROWS DO INDEED WIN BALLGAMES...
In 11 of the last 17 games, ECU has hit over 70 percent of its free throw attempts. The Pirates put up a season and C-USA-best 94-percent performance at Tulane, knocking down 16 of 17 from the charity stripe. In C-USA games, East Carolina is second in the league with a 71-percent mark, with Houston in the lead at 74 percent.
ON THEIR WAY TO SEE THE PIRATES PLAY...
East Carolina is on track to lead Conference USA in attendance for the third-straight season, having drawn an average of 1,803 fans to Minges Coliseum. In the latest release of the national attendance figures, the Pirates check in at 75th, ahead of such teams as Alabama, UCLA, Colorado, Florida, California, Illinois, Missouri and Syracuse.
BIG CROWDS LEAD TO MINGES SUCCESS...
Since the start of the 2008-09 season, only SMU has been better than East Carolina at home in conference play. The Mustangs have a 19-4 record while the Pirates have racked up an 18-4 ledger.
UP NEXT FOR THE PIRATES...
ECU plays host to Marshall Sunday at 2 p.m. in the regular season home finale. The Pirates will honor their three seniors before the contest and the tilt will be shown nationally on CBS College Sports with Jason Knapp (Play-by-Play) and Krista Blunk (Color) on the call.