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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Shooting woes plague men and women


Coaches love players who can “score the basketball.” The term “score” has a variety of meanings, but the bottom line is that somebody has to get it in the bucket.

Both the men and the women’s teams at East Carolina struggled with that notion this past weekend, and both fell short in their games.

The men were on the road at Texas-El Paso and came up with their lowest output of the season, failing to crack the half-century mark in falling to the Miners 58-45.

There’s nothing like a jaunt to the town of El Paso — situated along the Rio Grande River near the intersection of the borders of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico — for a league game with the Miners.

The Pirates were really fortunate to get to 45 points, after ringing up just 18 in the first half. ECU shot just 33 percent from the field, while UTEP shot just under 50 percent.

Perhaps the Pirates got caught up in the “Glory Road” fever in El Paso. Evidently, the town and the school went all out for the weekend debut of the movie based on the Texas Western team that beat mighty Kentucky for the national championship in 1966.

ECU certainly didn’t find its road to glory in El Paso. Jeremy Ingram led the team in scoring with just nine points.

The Pirates are back at home this week, hosting Southern Methodist on Wednesday night.

Benchmark crowd

The sellout crowd for last Wednesday's Memphis game was the largest turnout that I can remember since the remodeling of Minges Coliseum.

The lower bowl was absolutely packed, with fans even sitting in the walkways of the lower section.

Pirate fans and ECU students should be commended for providing a great atmosphere for college basketball in the 10-point loss to Memphis.

Williams Arena was the place to be that night. The ECU-Memphis game was a hot ticket in town, and the Pirates' gutsy play probably won the team a few more fans.

The trick now is to try and get that type of atmosphere for EVERY home game. True, there is a certain electricity in the air when the fifth-ranked team in the country pays you a visit. Still, the goal will always be to make Williams Arena the place to be when the Pirates are at home.

This team plays with a passion for the game, led by a very emotional Jeremy Ingram. The players have told me what it means to them to have a big crowd in for a game. ESPN’s SportsCenter had several highlights from the Memphis win over ECU, giving the team that much more publicity.

Again, congrats to Pirate fans and ECU students. The goal should be to continue to work to make Williams Arena that much more of a home court advantage for the Pirates!

Lady Pirates pillaged

East Carolina’s women returned home this past Friday, riding the momentum of a 4-1 road trip.

Unfortunately, their four-game winning streak was snapped in a 54-45 loss to Houston at Williams Arena.

The Lady Pirates missed 58 shots in the game, shooting just 21.6 percent from the field.

“I can’t fault our effort,” said Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. “We just couldn’t throw it in the ocean tonight.”

Former Ayden-Grifton star Cherie Mills continues to be a bright spot on the team. Mills scored 14 points against Houston and has reached double-figures in all 15 games the Lady Pirates have played this season. It is the longest such streak since Courtney Willis posted double-figures in 26 consecutive games during the 2003-04 season.

Mills also recorded her sixth double-double of the year with 14 points and ten rebounds.

Play ball!

First year East Carolina baseball coach Billy Godwin opens camp on Wednesday with the club’s first practice for the 2006 season.

The coaching staff will continue with individual workouts on Monday and Tuesday of this week, before the start of practice on Wednesday.

Godwin and the Pirates open their season on February 10th, when Maryland comes to Greenville for the start of a three-game series.

Pirate fans can get their first real look at the team in a couple of weeks at the sixth annual “Meet the Pirates” luncheon on January 28th. A limited number of tickets are available at $7 for adults and $3 for children. Advance reservations are required.

Let there be light

While driving to Minges Coliseum for the Saint Paul’s game last week, I noticed that Charles Boulevard had never looked better.
It was a football recruiting weekend and the lights were on at the new practice facility and at beautiful Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The sight was most impressive and a great strategy in trying to lure potential recruits to ECU!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:33:22 AM


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