Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of thousands of Pirate fans. Call 252.349-3280 for information.





From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, February 15, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Winning season in hoops still within reach

Jeff Lebo
(ECU SID image)


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest NICK SCHNABEL discussing ECU's upcoming baseball season. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Winning season in hoops still within reach
Fifty years later, Bucs still have big goals
Too little, too late for Pirates
Pirates still supporting Pirates
Report Card: Recruiting class passes the test
No. 23's Omaha dream lives on in Homan, Pirates
Audio: Billy Godwin & Austin Homan on No. 23
Sherrod lights up Knights

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

Greatest Comeback Falls Just Short

The greatest comeback in the last 30 years in East Carolina basketball came last season in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

In that game the Pirates rallied from 20 points down to beat South Dakota State.

ECU almost eclipsed that mark in Saturday night’s loss to Marshall at Williams Arena.

Jeff Lebo and company trimmed a 27-point second half deficit all the way down to just five points with just over five minutes to play.

Actually, the Pirates had a chance to cut the lead to four, but Corvonn Gaines fired up a hat trick of misses after he was fouled behind the three-point line with his team trailing by seven with just over six minutes to play.

“It was a tough one for us,” said Lebo afterwards. “We battled hard but we dug ourselves too big of a hole to try and come back from. Our kids did battle until the very end. We could have made it interesting.”

I thought the Pirates did make it interesting. One look at Marshall Coach Tom Herrion and you know that he thought the Pirates made it interesting. Tom’s brother Bill is the former East Carolina coach, and the two are very similar in their game demeanor on the sideline.

Credit the Pirate fans for not leaving with their team down 27 in the second half. It was a Saturday night, the team is way behind, the chance to get to dinner early had to be tempting.

The ECU faithful stuck around, though, and were treated to a great Pirate flurry that whittled that huge lead down to five with plenty of time to go.

Lebo’s disappointment was obvious. A great crowd stayed until the end. Lebo and his squad would have loved to give that crowd a win on Saturday night.

“We really struggled scoring the basketball,” Lebo said. “We missed layups. We missed foul shots. The comeback was nice. Despite how poorly we played, Corvonn has three foul shots to cut it to four. He misses all three and then fouls at half court. They go and make two, so instead of four it’s back to eight or nine.”

Lebo says his team hasn’t shot the ball all that well the last three games. He says teams are starting not to defend multiple people on the court so that they can sink in and help out down low.

Junior forward Darrius Morrow was just 2-8 from the field, with seven points and just two rebounds in the loss.

“You have to credit Marshall’s defense,” said Morrow. “They limited my touches in the post. We just couldn’t pull it out.”

Morrow didn’t have a lot of help down low. Daquan Joyner, a junior forward, is still out with his injury, while senior center Chad Wynn missed the game with an illness.

Lebo says Jamar Abrams is a key to the Pirate attack but notes that the senior forward also struggled against the Herd.

“He is our best shooter and we run so many things for him,” said Lebo. “He made his first shot of the night, and then he got in foul trouble and wasn’t a factor.”

The stats for this game showed how bizarre it actually was. Marshall turned it over 28 times. East Carolina had 18 steals, while the Herd had just one.

Marshall, though, doubled up the Pirates on the glass, and survived what would have been the greatest comeback in the last 30 years of ECU basketball.

The Pirate schedule now toughens a bit with all of the frequent flyer miles the squad will rack up. Sandwiched between home games against Texas-El Paso and Memphis are trips to Tulsa, Hattiesburg, Houston and Birmingham.

Still, East Carolina has proven it can play tough on the road. Two games over .500 with six regular season contests plus the Conference USA Tournament remaining, gives this team an excellent chance to pull out a winning season.

There have been bumps along the way, but that shot of a winning season for Coach Lebo in year one is still very much in sight.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

02/15/2011 03:48 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.