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ECU Battles Tulsa In C-USA Tournament First Round

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Go Tigers!

Go Tigers!

March 6, 2012

No. 11 East Carolina vs. No. 6 Tulsa
March 7, 2012 | 12:00 p.m. ET
Memphis, Tenn. (Elma Roane Fieldhouse)

2012 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship First Round
Watch (C-USA Digital Network) | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Game Notes | Tournament Tickets | Gameday Central

Date March 7, 2012
Location Memphis, Tenn. (Elma Roane Fieldhouse)
Series Count Tulsa leads, 5-4
Last Meeting Tulsa 75, East Carolina 70 (Feb. 19, 2012 at Tulsa, Okla.)
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ecuwomenshoops
Record 11-18 (5-11 C-USA)
Ranking NR
Last Game W, 70-57 vs. Southern Miss
Head Coach Heather Macy
Career Record: 142-72
Record at East Carolina: 27-33
Record 13-14 (8-8 C-USA)
Ranking NR
Last Game W, 61-57 vs. SMU
Head Coach Matilda Mossman
Career Record: 354-162
Record at Tulsa: 13-14

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - No. 11 seed East Carolina opens the 2012 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship with a first round showdown with sixth-seeded Tulsa Wednesday at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 12 noon and the contest can be seen on the C-USA Digital Network.

The Pirates face the Golden Hurricane in the first round for the second-straight season and the winner of the game advances to face No. 3 seed Tulane in the quarterfinals. The Green Wave has eliminated ECU from the event the last two seasons.

East Carolina and Tulsa met once in the regular season and the Golden Hurricane escaped with a 75-70 win at the Reynolds Center. In that contest, the Pirates hit 28 of their 48 attempts from the field to shoot a season-best 58 percent while the Hurricane shot 38 percent but put up 63 tries and knocked down 24 field goals. Tulsa dominated the rebounding category, ending with a 39-24 advantage on the glass - including 22 offensive rebounds which turned into 25 important second-chance points.

East Carolina put in a campaign-best 11 three-point field goals and finished with a 55-percent showing from range. Despite some physical defense by the home team, the Pirates finished with just three free throws on the five attempts. Additionally, ECU racked up 20 assists with Celeste Stewart responsible for six of the helpers.

Sophomore Kristine Mial netted 14 points to lead the Pirates offensively and was joined in double figures by Chareya Smith (11), Shala Hodges (11) and Stewart (10).

East Carolina is on a roll entering the event, having won five of its last six - including a dominant 70-57 win over Southern Miss last Thursday in the regular season finale. Junior Britny Edwards filled up the stat sheet to the tune of 17 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists while moving into sole possession of 10th place on the ECU single-season blocked shots chart. She now has 43 this season.

The Pirates knocked out Tulsa 71-62 in last season's tournament first round in El Paso before suffering an 83-72 setback in the quarterfinals.

East Carolina and Tulsa meet for the 10th time in a series that began in 2006. Tulsa holds a 5-4 edge but the Pirates have taken two of the last three.

After winning its first-ever C-USA Tournament contest in 2006, East Carolina captured its first tournament championship the following season. Since that 2006 campaign, the Pirates have won at least one game in the event every year except 2008 when they fell to Rice in the first round.

Here is a breakdown of the Pirates' all-time performance against the different seeds in the Conference USA Tournament.
No. 1 ...0-3 (L - 2010 / L - 2009 / L - 2006)
No. 2 ...1-0 (W - 2007)
No. 3 ...0-0
No. 4 ...2-1 (L - 2011 / W - 2010 / W - 2007)
No. 5 ...0-1 (L - 2003)
No. 6 ...1-0 (W - 2007)
No. 7 ...0-1 (L - 2004)
No. 8 ...0-0
No. 9 ...2-2 (W - 2009 / L - 2008 / W - 2006 / L - 2005)
No. 10 ..0-0
No. 11 ..0-
No. 12 ..2-0 (W - 2011 / W - 2010)

The victory over Houston ended a nine-game stretch where ECU allowed its opponents to build a double-digit lead. In the last five contests, the Pirates have trailed by no more than six points and raced out to a 25- point cushion against UCF - their fourth largest in a game this year.

Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the Pirates have shot 60 percentor better in a half 19 times - including a 65-percent showing in the second half at Marshall.

After suffering through a dismal stretch at the foul line to begin the season, the Pirates have dramatically improved at the stripe. During conference play, ECU is firing at 66 percent. At Southern Miss, East Carolina knocked down 14 of its 15 attempts from the line for seasonbest 93 percent - the highest for the Pirates since a 16-for-17 performance at Tulane on Jan. 13 of last season. ECU was clutch in the last two minutes of the wins over Marshall and Houston, hitting 12 of 15 free throws to seal the victories.

Sophomore Kristine Mial is getting it done from beyond the arc recently. In the last 11 games, she has hit 21 three-point field goals, including 10 in the last four home wins. Mial has hit at least one three-pointer in 15 of the last 16 contests.

With seven (7) three-point field goals drained against Southern Miss, East Carolina has made at least two triples in 71-straight games.