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UNC-Asheville holds off Pirates



Pirates cruise in hoops opener

GREENVILLE — East Carolina rolled past North Carolina Wesleyan 99-81 to open the 2014-15 basketball season at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum on Friday night. The Pirates won their first game of the season for the 15th consecutive time. ... Story, photos, post-game audio...
Pictured: Sophomore forward Michel Nzege compiled a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds in ECU's season-opening win over N.C. Wesleyan. The native of Geneva, Switzerland sat out last season after transferring from Winston-Salem State. (Photo by W.A. Myatt.)

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AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Thursday > Cincinnati 54, ECU 46 (ESPN2) ..... | Friday > UCF 31, Tulsa 7 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Penn State 30, Temple 13 (ESPN2) ..... Memphis 38, Tulane 7 (ESPNU) ..... USF 14, SMU 13 (CBSSN) ..... .....

Time to deal with tough loss

Al Myatt

CINCINNATI — The schedule will soon compact for East Carolina's 2014 football team with three games in 13 days.

The Pirates will host Tulane on Saturday, Nov. 22 to start the close to the regular season. They'll play at Tulsa the following Friday before returning home to face Central Florida on Thursday, Dec. 4. ... More from Al Myatt...

FROSTY AFFAIR: That masked man bearing up against the bitter cold at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati is East Carolina mike linebacker Zeek Bigger. © [Al Myatt photo]

Audio: Ruff Post-game

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the press after the Pirates' loss on the road to Cincinnati on Thursday night (recorded by Al Myatt; file photo): Select audio clip...

By Al Myatt
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View ECU's 2014-15 basketball schedule

GREENVILLE — UNC-Asheville's Andrew Rowsey stands 5 feet, 10 inches but he was huge on Sunday afternoon.

Rowsey, a sophomore, scored 28 points to lead an 83-79 nonconference basketball win at East Carolina.

"Congratulations to UNC-Asheville," said fifth-year Pirates coach Jeff Lebo. "I thought they played well and they had the best player on the floor, no doubt about it, in Rowsey. He's a terrific player and watching him play last year and this year, you really get a great appreciation of how tough he is, how smart and crafty he is. He's got everything in his game, except what God hasn't given him is any size. He dominated the game."

The Pirates (1-1) surged back after trailing 58-42 with 10:16 remaining to get within four points. The Bulldogs (1-1) made 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch.

The visitors were 28 of 34 at the line for the game.

Five players scored in double figures for ECU, led by sophomore Caleb White, who tied his career high with 24 points. Freshmen Lance Tejada and B.J. Tyson added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Transfer Terry Whisnant scored 11 and Marshall Guilmette tallied 10.

White kept ECU within striking distance with a pair of 3-pointers in the final 29 seconds.

The Pirates were beaten 43-27 on the boards.

"Rebounding is going to be an issue for us all year," Lebo said. "Our best offensive team is our poorest rebounding team, so when we got down we had to put the best offensive guys out there and it's not a terribly good rebounding team because we're so small."

ECU made 16 of 29 field goal attempts in the second half after trailing 38-28 at the break.

"We shot much better in the second half," Lebo said "Fifty-five percent is certainly a winning percentage. We had some odd fouls off the ball at crucial times when we had some momentum and that took that momentum away from us. I thought we battled to the end, extended the game very well and had chances at the end if we could have gotten a stop or two. If they had missed a foul shot or two we would have maybe had a different outcome. Give them credit. They were better than us tonight."

The Pirates host Virginia-Lynchburg on Thursday at 7 p.m.

11/17/2014 02:02 AM