Appalachian State Outmuscles Mikul-less Pirates
Carolina, facing depth and size disadvantages in the front court, bolted
ahead early but was unable to sustain the momentum, falling at Appalachian
State on Monday night, 93-87.
ECU (2-2) went on a 10-0 run to build a 19-10 lead with 10:47 to go in
the first half before the Mountaineers (1-1), paced by center Josh Shehan,
began to assert themselves down low, gradually cobbling together a 42-40
As ASU attacked around the basket, the Pirates, playing their fourth
straight game on the road, were clearly handicapped by the continued absence
of sophomore forward Gabriel Mikulas and freshman center
ECU head coach Bill Herrion complimented the Mountaineers while
acknowledging the Pirates were undone by their inability to counter ASU's
strategy around the lane.
“We got beat by a good team tonight,” he
said. “We lacked the inside game to ease their pressure on our guards."
Herrion's comments were an indirect
reference to the continued NCAA-imposed suspensions of frontcourt stalwarts
Mikulas and Badiane. The pair are ensnared in a Catch-22 involving dozens of
foreign college players around the country who are awaiting a ruling
regarding their participation, along with paid players, on club teams in
their home countries.
Shehan, a bulky, 6-8 junior, finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds and
was the Mountaineers' main weapon as they maintained a close lead most of
the second half before spurting ahead in the final minutes to keep the game
out of reach.
"Our guys gave a great effort tonight,” said
Herrion, whose team opened its season with three games in three days in the
Black Coaches Association Invitational in Raleigh before heading west for
the battle in Boone.
The greatest effort, as far as the numbers
are concerned, came from Pirate forward Erroyl Bing, who was the game's
statistical leader with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
For Bing, who was named to the BCA's
All-Tournament Team after ECU defeated Rutgers and Northwestern before
falling to N.C. State in the title game, it was his fourth consecutive
double-figure scoring performance.
Jonathan Moore contributed 14 points and 7
rebounds for the Pirates and Kenyatta Brown scored 13.
ECU, in its first season as a basketball
member of Conference USA, will return to Greenville for the first time in
almost a week to begin preparations for its first home game, a Saturday
night contest against Central Florida at 7 p.m.
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State University's SID Office contributed to this story.
02/23/2007 01:35:10 PM