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The Bradsher Beat
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

By Bethany Bradsher

Triumph leaves its impressions

By Bethany Bradsher
All rights reserved.

Some notable sights and sounds from the East Carolina women’s basketball team's 80-75 victory over Appalachian State Tuesday night:

The Dominator

The omnipresence of senior guard LaCoya Terry, who led all scorers with 34 points and fell just one shy of her career high. Terry was unstoppable on the fast break, turning in 16 of her points on the run.

“She had a lot of big shots for us, a couple in the last two minutes that were huge for us,” head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “It was wonderful that she had a game like that.”

Flaws in the Ointment

The resounding silence in the stands when Pirate players missed their free throws. ECU shot only 50 percent from the charity stripe in the second half and 58.6 percent for the night, and the rebounding was also subpar, Baldwin-Tener said.

The Mountaineers bested the Pirates on the boards 53 to 35, and the ECU coaching staff doesn’t plan to let its squad forget it between now and Friday’s game against Presbyterian.

“On Thursday, we’re going to come back and do some rebounding drills,” Baldwin-Tener said. “I think this early in the year, we’ve got to work on what we do. It was good that we only turned the ball over 10 times, but our rebounding and our free throw shooting, it’s got to get better if we’re going to win games.”

A Taste of Mayhem

The rowdiness of the crowd, especially a pocket of students behind the scorer’s table and a vocal section of the band. The hall had a Minges Maniacs feel to it, and atmosphere mattered in a game where the lead changed hands 24 times.

The fans’ tactics – like chanting ‘airball, airball” whenever ASU guard Sam Ramirez touched the ball – may have lacked originality, but succeeded in creating an unforgiving atmosphere for visitors. It’s just the kind of inhospitality the Lady Pirates need to cultivate.

“The crowd, they’re getting better and better each year,” Terry said. “They pep us up. The crowd’s been a real big help this year.”

Young Gun

The emergence of freshman center Jean Best, who finished the game with 13 points. Baldwin-Tener expects the 6-foot-5 Best to produce more than the four rebounds she pulled down Tuesday, but the Beddingfield High product has shown marked improvement since preseason practice opened two months ago. As she matures, Best’s presence in the paint could become a game-maker for the Lady Pirates.

Poetic Debut

The official “Welcome to East Carolina” moment for assistant coach Adrienne Shuler, who came to Greenville after six seasons as the head coach at Appalachian. It was no doubt a bittersweet 40 minutes for Shuler, who recruited and coached every player on the floor. But with a win over her old squad, Shuler can set her face forward as a Pirate.

On a team that lost only one player to graduation, Shuler is one of three new assistants on Baldwin-Tener’s completely refurbished staff.

Early Perfection

A flawless record for all ECU ballers, 4-0 for men and women combined so far with three more games in the next four days. The men play Campbell Wednesday and George Mason Saturday, and the women complete their three-game home stand when Presbyterian College comes to town Friday.

No Cavities, but Sunburned

The Pepto-Bismol effect. I’m not trying to pour fuel on a smoldering fire, but under the fluorescent Williams Arena lights the new PeeDee the Pirate’s face is jarringly pink. The teeth I can handle, but PeeDee looks like he spent a long day on Emerald Isle wearing nothing but coconut oil.

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11/19/2008 02:15:34 AM

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