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BYH: To the ECU Leaders. Alcohol Beverages at a football game. You are asking for trouble. Drunks at the game already...

Pirates set to host 12-2 Bearcats

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East Carolina guard K.J. Davis looks to drive against Appalacian State earlier this season in Minges Coliseum.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, January 5, 2019

East Carolina’s undersized and young basketball team was dealt a harsh blow in its first American Athletic Conference game of the season and its second game in the league will also be a difficult test against a big and physical opponent.

ECU (7-6, 0-1 American) welcomes in Cincinnati, which has been one of the most consistent AAC teams so far with a 12-2 record that includes beating Tulane 93-61 on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the Pirates began their league slate with an 82-54 runaway loss at SMU.

With many students not yet back on campus from winter break, the Pirates have been offering $5 lower-bowl tickets for today’s 1 p.m. tip-off. It is the second straight home game that ECU has offered those discounted tickets.

“It was great to have all those fans out there,” freshman forward Jayden Gardner said after the Pirates beat North Carolina A&T 77-57 on Dec. 28 with a crowd of 4,761 in Minges Coliseum.

ECU was in the lead for 7:42 of the first half against SMU, then the favored Mustangs took over by starting the second half on a 17-1 run and totaling 47 points after intermission.

Gardner (18.8 points per game for the season) scored 16 points and freshman bench player Tyler Foster was second on the Pirates with 11. Guard K.J. Davis also saw a lot of action off the bench, playing 28 minutes and scoring six points on 2-of-4 shooting from 3-point range.

But SMU cruised to the win thanks to a 42-26 advantage in points in the paint and 30-18 on the fast break. 

“We need to fix this very quickly,” ECU coach Joe Dooley said during his postgame interview on the Pirate IMG Network. “I liked the start of it and liked the tempo, but then I really can’t tell you what went wrong. ... This is a really good league and I think our young guys got a taste and a look at what really good teams look like, and that’s something we need to figure out and the younger guys hadn’t seen that kind of athleticism and caliber of a team.”

Dooley added that he is looking for his Pirates to be more stingy on defense and better in rebounding.

Cincinnati is first in the AAC in scoring defense, rebounding defense and is second in blocked shots per game. Its leading scorer is 6-foot-6 guard Jarron Cumberland with a 16.6 ppg average. Post player Tre Scott is averaging 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing.

This will be only the Bearcats’ third road game of the season.

Women’s game

East Carolina’s women’s team begins its American Athletic Conference schedule today at Tulane, which has won four straight in the series against the Pirates.

ECU has been off since it couldn’t close out UNC Wilmington and lost 71-68 to UNCW in Greenville on Dec. 30. Nicole Mealing is 0-2 as acting head coach for the Pirates (9-4).

Tulane (10-3) is on a three-game win streak and recorded victories against LSU and Washington during a 3-0 start to its campaign.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter. 

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

March 20, 2019

A couple of things often overlooked during a baseball no-hitter or perfect game can be: What happens with the ball after the final out and also the catcher’s role in the rare feat.

East Carolina’s Jake Kuchmaner, who threw a perfect game Sunday at Maryland in retiring all 27 Terrapins…

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March 18, 2019

A major change in leadership at East Carolina University is coming and athletics director Jon Gilbert said Monday that he remains steadfast in his priorities and plan to push the Pirates forward.

Gilbert admitted that Monday morning’s announcement of Chancellor Cecil Staton’s…

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March 18, 2019

East Carolina’s football team putting on shoulder pads for Monday morning’s workouts led to the first installment of full-contact drills.

Keeping with an early spring practice theme, first-year head coach Mike Houston left the practice encouraged with the effort by players yet aware…

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March 18, 2019

UCLA is the new No. 1 team in college baseball, according to rankings both by Baseball America and D1baseball.com, and East Carolina’s best ranking is still No. 14 by Baseball America.

The Pirates will play a three-game series at UCLA (14-4) on April 12-13. 

ECU, which went 3-1 last week…

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March 18, 2019

Mike Houston is ready for 8:45 this morning.

The first-year East Carolina football coach was ready for it last week, bringing it up one day before the Pirates even began their first spring practice workout on Friday.

“We’ll start finding it out at about 8:45 on Monday morning, because…

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March 17, 2019

Jake Kuchmaner was one strike away from the 11th no-hitter in East Carolina baseball history on March 6 when he stifled Southeastern Conference powerhouse Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

He didn’t complete the no-hitter.

On Sunday, he fired the first perfect game in Pirate history.

The left-handed…

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March 16, 2019

East Carolina’s pitching and defense stifled Maryland’s offense for the second straight day, clinching the series at Maryland for the baseball Pirates.

Tyler Smith and Alec Burleson led No. 14 ECU to a 2-1 victory on Saturday, backing up Friday night’s 9-0 decision. The Game 2 win…

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March 16, 2019

East Carolina foot­ball’s attempt for Nate Har­vey to gain an ex­tra year of el­i­gi­bil­ity for this sea­son was de­nied by the NCAA, first-year coach Mike Hous­ton and the Pi­rates an­nounced Satur­day.

Har­vey was seek­ing a…

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March 15, 2019

The process of catching up to first-year East Carolina football coach Mike Houston’s desired speed picked up in intensity Friday morning when the Pirates conducted their first spring practice.

Houston said it was a solid and productive practice, yet he noticed ECU’s team has some bad…

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March 15, 2019

Jake Agnos and East Carolina baseball began their weekend series at Maryland in dominating fashion with a 9-0 victory on Friday night.

Agnos (3-1) pitched seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, no walks, two hit batsmen and six hits allowed for his second straight superb outing on a…

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