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BYH, some see the glass as half empty. I say just get a smaller glass and quit complaining....

Top-10 Cougars present big challenge

Houston UConn Basketball

Houston's Armoni Brooks makes a basket as Connecticut's Sidney Wilson, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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BY RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

About a month removed from a 44-point win over East Carolina in basketball, No. 8-ranked Houston is in Greenville for a rematch against the Pirates in Minges Coliseum tonight.

Houston’s overall effectiveness, not to mention its 26-1 overall record and 13-1 mark in the American Athletic Conference, creates a daunting task for the Pirates (10-16, 3-11) and their hopes to pull a major upset. ECU also is looking for a boost from a home-court advantage for the game that will tip off at 7 p.m.

“They are Final Four caliber team, so it’s pretty cool that they are in our league,” ECU coach Joe Dooley said before Tuesday’s practice. “I think the one thing about it is when you look at their defensive stats and they are No. 1 in the nation in field goal percentage defense (36.2 percent). That’s an amazing stat, and they just have a lot of bodies to throw at you.”

The Cougars’ 94-50 win over ECU on Jan. 23 was highlighted by UH finishing 16-of-22 from 3-point range. ECU was 2-for-22.

“We have to get back in transition and eliminated the 3s,” said Pirate freshman and leading scorer Jayden Gardner (17.3 points per game), who had eight points and four rebounds in the first meeting against Houston. “They hit a bunch of 3s on us last game and basically got what they wanted. We’ll have to be able to execute on offense and be able to knock down open shots.”

The Cougars are No. 8 in The Associated Press Top 25 and ranked sixth in the coaches’ poll.

East Carolina has three wins all-time against AP ranked opponents, the last coming against No. 13 Marquette and Dwyane Wade in 2002.

The Pirates hosted No. 5 Wichita State last year and were overwhelmed in a 95-60 defeat. The attendance for that game was 5,539.

“If you want to come see a top-10 team and us try our heart out, then just come watch and support us,” Gardner said. “You know that we are going to give it all out on the court.”

Two of the AAC wins by the Pirates are against lowly Tulane, but the other was over NCAA tournament-bound Cincinnati in Minges on Jan. 5. The hosts hit nine of their 22 3-point attempts to upset the Bearcats, who are now second in the American standings and have a 23-4 overall record.

ECU is coming off an 85-81 road win against Tulane on Saturday, when Shawn Williams was 5-of-10 from the outside and scored 27 points. Williams, a sophomore guard and last year’s AAC rookie of the year, has scored at least 13 points in four straight games.

Eight different Cougars average at least 6.0 points per game, led by senior Corey Davis Jr. at 15.7 ppg. Fellow guard Armoni Brooks has been an outside threat all year, making 92 of his 232 3-point shots.

Brooks, who also is the team’s leading rebounder at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, was 5-of-7 from long distance and scored a game-high 17 points against the Pirates last month.

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

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy cruised to a 2-0 record in a frustrating day Saturday for East Carolina football, which lost 42-10 to the Midshipmen for ECU to drop to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference in coach Mike Houston’s first season with the Pirates.

Here are three…

East Carolina Navy Football-4

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Add quarterback Malcolm Perry prominently to the list of Navy football players to enjoy spinning, shaking, shedding and sizzling the East Carolina football defense.

In a series that began in 2006 and has been dictated by the Midshipmen and their punishing and methodical…

East Carolina Navy Football

September 14, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Among the improbable things for a disastrous day by the East Carolina football team Saturday was that Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry passed for more yards than Holton Ahlers.

Perry and a stingy Navy defense led the charge in the Midshipmen's 42-10 rout of the Pirates in the…

East Carolina Navy Football-3

September 14, 2019

Here are three Navy players to keep an eye on as East Carolina heads to Annapolis, Md., to face the Midshipmen in American Athletic Conference action:

Malcolm Perry

Any Navy team runs as good as its quarterback. Perry, a senior former running back, is far from a perfect passer but he remains as one…

Navy Football Preview

September 14, 2019

Q: What is your favorite form of social media?

A: I would say Twitter. It’s more active, everybody is on Twitter. I like Instagram, too, but I like Twitter more.

Q: Where is your favorite spot to eat at in Greenville?

A: I will say Kickback Jacks. I like Kickback Jacks. I love their spinach…

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September 14, 2019

These three questions appeared in our Pirate Gameday section to preview East Carolina versus Navy in football. 

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. Check back after the game for the answers:

1. Any turnovers by the Pirates? Because of time of possession, turnovers…

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September 14, 2019

Mike Houston didn't celebrate too long after his first victory as East Carolina's football coach, partly because he knew what was ahead in this week's trip trip to Navy.

ECU (1-1) and Navy (1-0) play their respective first American Athletic Conference game of the season today in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff…

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September 13, 2019

Navy football coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this week that he wants to see more passes this year from quarterback Malcolm Perry.

East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott is not putting too much stock into any new Navy mindset and is still planning to mainly see running plays Saturday when…

Navy Football

September 12, 2019

East Carolina first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert said he noticed even before kickoff last Saturday night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that slow concessions could be an issue that could increase as the night progressed for ECU’s first home football game of the season, so he put a priority…

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September 12, 2019

East Carolina’s football team heads north on Saturday to play Navy, which has beaten the Pirates in three straight meetings and holds a 5-1 all-time advantage in the series.

It will be the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams and coach Mike Houston’s league debut with the…

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