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Pirates square off with Bulls

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East Carolina's Kentrell Barkley goes up for a shot during their game against Central Florida on Dec. 31, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The East Carolina basketball team will head south tonight in attempt to create some American Athletic Conference momentum against South Florida.

The Pirates (6-7 overall) opened league play with consecutive blowout losses to Tulsa on the road and Central Florida at home on Sunday, a game in which ECU totaled 39 points.

Tonight, ECU and interim head coach Michael Perry hope to climb out of the hole against a Bulls team with an identical 0-2 league record in the wake of setbacks against Houston and SMU.

"We have some hurdles in regards to injuries and some other different things, but we have to handle the adversity and continue to move forward," Perry said of his club, which won four of its final five non-conference games.

But turnovers and poor shooting have haunted the team in its early foray into AAC action.

The Pirates continue to be led by their guard trio of senior B.J. Tyson (team-high 15.3 points per game) and juniors Isaac Fleming (13.3) and Kentrell Barkley (12.0). Senior post man Jabari Craig leads to the team with an average output of seven rebounds per outing, closely followed by 6.7 from Barkley.

The most glaring problem for ECU has been the high number of points surrendered off turnovers.

"The killer right now for us and our Achilles heel is taking care of the basketball," Perry said. "Twenty-one turnovers (against UCF) is a losing number on any level and any game. That many turnovers can just kill you.

"We want to look at a lot of film and all those turnovers we had (against UCF) and how so many of those were self-inflicted. Taking care of of the basketball is going to really be a priority.”

The Bulls boast a pair of double-digit scorers in Payton Banks (13.7 ppg) and Stephan Jiggetts (11.2), who also leads USF in assists.

Like ECU, South Florida also scored 39 points in its last outing. It shot 28.0 percent from the field against SMU in Dallas on Sunday, ultimately losing 79-39.

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ECU

September 24, 2018

TAMPA, Fla.

Sweat flung from Alex Turner’s face outside the visiting locker room at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday night as he participated in interviews following East Carolina football’s 20-13 loss to 4-0 South Florida.

It was a sweaty scene like what is becoming a staple in post-…

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September 23, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — Too many times since East Carolina joined the American Athletic Conference in 2014 have the football Pirates faced an insurmountable deficit in the fourth quarter when playing league games away from Greenville.

Saturday night’s 20-13 loss for ECU at South Florida in…

E Carolina South Florida Football-7

September 23, 2018

N.C. State and Duke keep winning, which gives them the edge over an impressive Appalachian State resume. Also notable from this college football weekend was a 16-13 upset loss by North Carolina A&T to Morgan State.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated “Battle for N.C.”…

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September 23, 2018

These questions appeared in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section Saturday to preview East Carolina’s matchup at South Florida, which ended as a 20-13 victory for the favored Bulls.

Here are the answers and more insight from the game:

1. Will the East Carolina layoff play a role?…

E Carolina South Florida Football-9

September 22, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — In many ways it was a banner night for the East Carolina football defense Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.

A grind-it-out game ended as a 20-13 win for host South Florida, however, thanks to a few big plays.

Jordan Cronkrite delivered the crushing blow, dashing through…

E Carolina South Florida Football

September 22, 2018

This ran in The Daily Reflector’s Pirate Gameday section Saturday morning to help preview East Carolina’s American Athletic Conference football opener at South Florida, which is 3-0 and sits just outside the Associated Press Top 25 rankings. 

The game starts at 8 p.m. on ESPNews.…

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September 22, 2018

It has been two weeks since East Carolina has played a football game, and the Pirates spent most of those days in Orlando, Fla., to avoid the direct impact of Hurricane Florence.

They left Orlando for Tampa on Friday and, similar to two weeks ago against North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast…

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September 22, 2018

Q: You had 90 receiving yards and a touchdown against North Carolina on Sept. 8, earning the game ball after the Pirates’ 41-19 win. What did you do with the ball?

A: I’m giving it to my son (5-year-old Quey), and it’s unbelievable just to be able to say that I can give that to my…

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September 21, 2018

Raymond James Stadium is set to host two primetime football games in the coming days, beginning Saturday when East Carolina plays at 3-0 South Florida at 8 p.m.

USF stages its home games at the stadium in Tampa more known as the venue for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.…

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

September 20, 2018

Basketball schedules released by East Carolina and the American Athletic Conference this week have East Carolina hosting three men’s-women’s doubleheaders in Minges Coliseum, including two to begin the season.

ECU’s women, who went 16-15 last year for their first winning record…

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