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Pirates get reality check

From staff and ECU SID reports

GREENVILLE — East Carolina's exhibition opener last week was akin to a cakewalk, but its followup experience in a final tuneup before the regular season was more like a reality check.

After breezing past an outmanned U.S. Marine Corps team 96-65 on November 7, the Pirates had any inflated perceptions they might have developed about themselves brought down to earth by the EA Sports All-Stars.

Fred Vinson scored 33 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field and torched ECU for 7-of-8 from behind the three-point arc to lead EA Sports All-Stars to a 76-68 victory at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

Vinson, a former Georgia Tech star, scored 19 of his points before halftime.

As a team, EA Sports connected on 9-of-21 three-point field goal attempts. Former Utah standout Alex Jensen, who scored 12 points, nailed the other two extra-point field goals.

Vinson and Jensen were the only EA Sports players to score in double figures.

Erroyl Bing recorded a double-double, scoring a team-high 23 points and registering a game-high 10 rebounds to pace the Pirates. Derrick Wiley added 13 points, while Moussa Badiane chipped in 11 points.

The All-Stars led throughout the game, building a 25-15 lead just over 12 minutes into the contest. The lead grew to 15 points at halftime, 41-26.

ECU head coach Bill Herrion saw the outing as a positive experience which enables his team to begin to measure itself.

"It was the kind of basketball game that we needed," he said. "We needed to play a very difficult and talented basketball team because I still think we have to find out where we are at as basketball team."

Herrion shook off the loss, noting that the calibre of the competition will ultimately prove to be of benefit to the Pirates.

"It is early in the year and that was a heck of a team. I think tonight is going to help this basketball team."

ECU mounted a charge at the start of the second half and cut the lead to six, 44-38, less than four minutes into the period. The All-Stars then went on a 16-8 run over the next 6:15 to push its lead back to 14 and retained a double-digit lead until the game's final minute.

After a difficult first half shooting the basketball, ECU made 15-of-33 field goals after halftime and finished the game shooting 45.5 percent from the field. The Pirates outscored the All-Stars by seven in the second half, 42-35, and out-rebounded them by 10, 41-31.

East Carolina opens the 2002-03 regular season at Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro on November 22 and plays Ole Miss November 24 at home.


02/23/2007 01:39:20 PM

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