ECU hoops teams on road
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
East Carolina will be put right back to the fierce test that is American Athletic Conference basketball tonight when the Pirates, fresh from a resounding overtime win over Memphis on Saturday, now must trek to Philadelphia for an always-tough test against Temple.
ECU rode remarkable performances from numerous players in its lineup in order to finish off the Tigers in extra time after leading them for most of the day in Minges Coliseum. Freshman Shawn Williams buried 30 points, including six 3-pointers and a couple of those in OT of the 88-85 triumph, and fellow guard Isaac Fleming recorded the first triple-double in ECU hoops history with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
It snapped a three-game losing streak for ECU (9-13, 3-8 AAC), which also got a 19-point, 13-rebound outing from junior Kentrell Barkley, his second straight double-double, while senior B.J. Tyson poured in 14 points.
The Pirates are led in scoring by Tyson (14.3 points per game), Fleming (12.1), Barkley (12.1) and Williams (10.7).
Temple (13-10, 5-6) is sizzling at 5-1 in the Owls’ last six, including three straight wins against teams that have beaten the Pirates — Wichita State, Tulane and Connecticut.
The Owls boast a trio of double-digit scorers in Quinton Rose (14.3 ppg.), Shizz Alston Jr. (13.1) and Obi Enechionyia (11.3).
The teams met three times last season, with ECU claiming wins over Temple at home in the regular season and again at the AAC Tournament.
— Nathan Summers
Seven of the 14 East Carolina women’s basketball players are underclassmen, which the team is not hiding from as it has steadily climbed up the American Athletic Conference standings and comes into tonight’s game at South Florida on a three-game winning streak.
The Pirates, who have been sparked by the most recent AAC freshman of the week in guard Lashonda Monk, are actually 5-2 in their last seven games. This has ECU (13-10, 5-5) in a three-way tie for fifth place despite being picked last in the league preseason poll.
“This is a cool group,” coach Heather Macy said. “I had a conversation with them the other day and brought up that seven of the 14 are freshmen or sophomores, but I wanted to explain to them that I don’t ever say that as an excuse. I say that is a great thing for the future of what we are doing.”
Macy added that buying in to team concepts has helped improve offense. The Pirates ranked last in the American in scoring offense not too long ago, but now they are sixth and during this win streak they have scored at least 76 in each victory.
ECU dominated after halftime of Saturday’s 76-47 rout of lowly SMU, outscoring the visitors 41-19 in the second half. All 14 Pirate players saw action and 12 scored, led by Monk’s 20 points and fellow freshman Necole Hope came up big with 15 points off the bench.
“We got 20 assists on 31 buckets, and I think that tells you a lot about the unselfishness of our basketball team,” Macy said.
USF (18-5, 8-2) also is on a three-game win streak and is 6-1 in its last seven outings. The Bulls are projected as an NCAA tournament team and boast an 8-1 home record.
— Ronnie Woodward