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Did we move up a conference too far? Remember the WWII movie named "A Bridge Too Far?" Has ECU talked its way into a...

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

October 15, 2018

East Carolina did not have a men’s or women’s basketball player lauded by the American Athletic Conference as a preseason all-conference pick.

The AAC released its preseason polls Monday, which had the ECU men 11th out of 12 teams and the Pirate women in eighth place.

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October 15, 2018

It is the time of year when perspectives can become very contrasting for college football teams depending on where they are in the standings.

Very often, the great teams already have found ways to survive and stay on top, whereas the hard-luck teams often continue to lament coming close but not…

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October 15, 2018

The East Carolina football team is turning to true freshman quarterback Holton Ahlers for this week and with a long-term plan in mind for the 6-foot-3, 236-pound left-hander to be the leader of the ECU offense.

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October 15, 2018

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October 15, 2018

It was easy to think back to East Carolina football’s successful run in Conference USA during Saturday night’s game against Houston at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

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October 15, 2018

Things are tightening at the top between N.C. State, Appalachian State and Duke, but no changes again this week.

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Record: 5-0.

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East Carolina’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams captured their first wins of the season Saturday, topping William & Mary on the road by a 136-126 score in each division.

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October 14, 2018

These three questions appeared in the Pirate Gameday section previewing the East Carolina-Houston football game, which ended as a 42-20 win for Houston that could have been more lopsided if not for a few late touchdowns by the Pirates.

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October 13, 2018

A week-long theme of a possible new-look East Carolina football offense did not come to fruition Saturday night against Houston at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

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October 13, 2018

East Carolina’s football offense started too slow and delivered too little again on Saturday night in a 42-20 beating at the hands of visiting Houston.

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