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BYH to those wanting outdoor dining uptown. I'm with you as long as we pass a law keeping mosquitoes and other insects...

Pirates show sharpshooting performance

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East Carolina's Shawn Williams scores against South Florida on Wednesday night. Jan. 17, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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BY NATHAN SUMMERS
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, January 18, 2018

East Carolina could not miss at times in its corralling of the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday night, and that has been a rare occurrence.

The Pirates broke a three-game losing streak in a major way, decimating USF for 35 field goals on a sizzling 61.4 percent. ECU also went 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from 3-point range, including a breakout performance from freshman Shawn Williams as he drained six 3s and posted a career-high 22 points in the 90-52 blowout.

“As a coach, you don’t get a chance to see nights like this too often, but you really enjoy them,” ECU interim head coach Michael Perry said after the win, the biggest league victory for the Pirates since they were in the Southern Conference and drilled Virginia Military Institute 108-66 in 1970.

“This has been a building process. This has been coming,” Perry said. “It’s very difficult to see sometimes the improvement when you’re playing Wichita State and Houston, but there has been improvement. The team is getting better, and it’s just great to see all it all come together. Sometimes you spend all the time working but you don’t get to see the results.”

Junior Kentrell Barkley had the most complete game of anyone on the court, scoring 18 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing seven assists and swiping seven steals, three of which went for easy fast-break dunks.

It was part of a balanced attack that saw five double-digit scorers and 22 assists.

“I think the focus should be sharing the ball and team basketball,” Barkley said. “I feel like we’re unstoppable if we play team basketball because we’ve got a lot of talent, a lot of key aspects on this team that can help us out.”

Williams continues to be the Pirates’ primary provider off the bench, netting a combined 37 points in his last two games.

The Little Rock, Ark., native said he doesn’t mind his role, especially since he is able to take the floor and hit shots no matter when he comes into the game. On Wednesday, he heated up late in the first half, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers, including one just before the halftime buzzer that gave the Pirates a monster 44-18 edge.

Williams said it’s easier coming off the bench when the team on the floor is shooting like it was against the Bulls.

“I am kind of out there sitting on the bench kind of getting a little tight, but as long as they’re out there killing, I’m the best teammate,” he said. “I’m out there cheering, yelling, so it is kind of tough, but it’s all right.”

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

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Humans of Greenville

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Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

ECU

May 26, 2018

It is not easy to leave a winning program for one mired in a string of four straight losing seasons and that hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1993.

Joe Dooley did that in April when he left Florida Gulf Coast, a team he led to the NCAAs in 2016 and ’17, to take over at East…

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May 25, 2018

East Carolina shook off a nine-game losing streak to Houston in a major way on Friday morning, pounding the top-seeded Cougars out of the American Athletic Conference tournament in a 12-1, seven-inning blistering.

With the win, the Pirates (42-16) likely solidified one of the NCAA’s 16 host…

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May 24, 2018

A familiar nemesis dealt East Carolina its first loss at the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday, as top-seeded Houston broke a tie with two runs in the seventh inning of a 5-3 win over the Pirates in Clearwater, Fla.

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May 24, 2018

The East Carolina club baseball team spent its rebuilding year after last season’s World Series win building another potential national champion.

Instead of taking this season to regroup and steadily build another contender, the Pirates and second-year coach Ben Fox are already pushing for a…

May 23, 2018

A gutsy and wild comeback Wednesday afternoon for East Carolina at the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla., might have assured that the Pirates will be smiling Sunday night when the 16 NCAA regional hosts are announced.

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May 23, 2018

East Carolina women’s basketball coach Heather Macy will be a featured speaker at the True North Sports Camp Elevate on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs next week.

Macy is one of 14 people selected to speak at the three-day event May 29-31, and she will host a 90-…

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May 22, 2018

The American Athletic Conference baseball tournament began Tuesday morning in Clearwater, Fla., with a high-scoring and slow-moving game that lasted nearly four hours and ended as an 8-4 win for No. 4 seed East Carolina over No. 5 UCF, giving the Pirates 40 wins for the season.

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May 22, 2018

First-year East Carolina basketball coach Joe Dooley is still evaluating the roster and coaching staff for his first team, but the hiring of new staff is on hold for now.

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May 21, 2018

Bryant Packard was already set to take an East Carolina-record 32-game hit streak into the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament in Clearwater, Fla., and he added more momentum Monday when he was named AAC player of the year.

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May 21, 2018

Veteran Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has helped shape the career of East Carolina’s Joe Dooley in a major way, and the pair is set to be reunited with an opportunity through USA Basketball.

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