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

C-USA Rookies Surprise Big East's Rutgers Staff

Raleigh, N.C. — For a season or two, some observers figured, East Carolina would probably be an embarrassment to both itself and Conference USA, its new, highly-pedigreed basketball family.

After all, ECU has for years fielded ho-hum teams in the mediocre Colonial Athletic Association. It's a program whose players historically have had a better chance of getting an invitation to the Big Dance at one of the night clubs near the corner of 5th and Cotanche than to the extravaganza the NCAA conducts each March.

The Pirates finally had to officially face the challenge on Wednesday, risking their first taste of embarrassment against Big East opponent Rutgers in the opening round of the Black Coaches Association Invitational Tournament at Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Arena.

But it was Rutgers which faced the music.

And if a conference was embarrassed, it was the conference of Georgetown and Syracuse, UConn and St. John's.

Sophomore Jonathan Moore, playing in his hometown, scored 23 points in his collegiate debut as ECU climbed out of an 11-point second half hole to defeat the Scarlet Knights, 79-74.
ECU head coach Bill Herrion established a track record of March Madness appearances at Drexel before migrating south to rebuild the struggling Pirate program three years ago, but he rated the Pirates' victory on Wednesday afternoon among his most satisfying.
"This is a great win for us and for Conference USA," he said. "This was as good as a team effort as I`ve been involved with in my 11 years of coaching."
The two teams traded baskets throughout the first half as the lead-changed hands six times prior to the intermission. Rutgers closed out the first half with an 11-3 run to take a six-point into the locker room, 40-34.
Jerome Coleman paced the Scarlet Knights during the first half with four three-pointers, Moore kept ECU (1-0) in the game by scoring 17 first half points.
The second half began just as the first half ended, with Rutgers scoring six of the first eight points and eventually pushing its lead to 11, 49-38.
Trailing 54-43 with 13:55 remaining in regulation, the Pirates went on an 18-6 run over the next 7:09 to take their first lead since moving ahead briefly, 14-13, in the game's early stages.
ECU scored 12 straight points on three-pointers as Travis Holcomb-Faye, Bryan Foxx and Brandon Hawkins all drilled consecutive jumpers from behind the arc. Hawkins second three-point field goal of the sequence pulled the Pirates within one, capping a 12-2 run.
Erroyl Bing completed a three-point play with 5:07 remaining to give the Pirates a lead they never relinquished.
ECU lead by as many as eight with 1:12 to play and made three of its final four free throws to seal the victory.
After managing just two points in the first half, Bing warmed up to score 15 second half points and garnered a team-high nine rebounds. Junior point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye also finished in double figures for the Pirates with 10 points.
Coleman led all scorers with 24 points and Mike Sherrod added 17 points for the Scarlet Knights.

In the tourney's other first round match-ups, host N.C. State pummeled outmanned Prairie View A&M, 95-51; San Jose State conquered Fairleigh Dickinson, 65-57; and Northwestern defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 78-73.

The Pirates will play Northwestern, a member of the Big Ten, in the semifinals on Thursday at 9 p.m., following a 7:00 p.m. game between the Wolfpack of the ACC and WAC representative San Jose State.
The winners will meet for the championship at 9:00 p.m. on Friday night.
- 30 -

ECU's SID Office contributed to this story.

02/23/2007 01:35:07 PM

©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.