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I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

Huskies run away from Pirates

Houston East Carolina Basketball-6

East Carolina's Isaac Fleming (0) reacts to a call during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Houston in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, March 10, 2019

East Carolina manufactured a relentless performance that embodied the spirit of and was led by senior guard Isaac Fleming on Sunday afternoon in the guard’s final home game, but even that could not keep pace with Connecticut in an 82-73 Huskies win in Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates (10-20, 3-15 American Athletic Conference) finished the regular season battling, pulling to within two late, 64-62, in a game they led for most of the first half. But the Huskies dismantled the comeback, riding an 18-11 advantage the rest of the way.

The ECU loss came despite a valiant effort that saw Fleming post a double-double and Shawn Williams knock down two late 3-pointers to keep the Pirates within shouting distance. UConn, however, maintained its composure, and its lead.

ECU will begin play at the AAC tournament this week.

“I feel like I’m leaving a good legacy behind,” said Fleming, a former Hawaii transfer who scored 18 points and dished out 11 assists in his final home game. “I just want to thank this university for giving me the opportunity to come and not only display my talents and not only do it for the name across my back but also the one on my chest.”

First-year ECU head coach Joe Dooley said the Pirates’ late turnovers created too many easy transition baskets, including some dazzling dunks, by the Huskies (15-16, 6-12).

Although the injury-depleted ECU team mustered just three league wins, Dooley said there is a lot to like about the Pirates.

“We’ve gotten better compared to where we were in November,” Dooley said. “On the flipside, I think the teams we’re playing are a lot better. I do think we’ve gotten better and the guys have gotten more familiarity.

Williams tied for the game-high with 20 points, including 5-of-10-shooting from behind the arc. Former South Central High School star Josh Carlton, however, dominated the glass with a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double for UConn.

Also for ECU, senior Addison Hill added 10 points, Jayden Gardner amassed 11 points and nine boards and Dimitri Spasojevic added 12 points.

ECU tied the game on a Spasojevic jumper with 14:10 to play, and the Pirates played the Huskies close for the next several minutes until Tyler Polley (19 points, 5-of-7 3-pointers) took over for Connecticut, knocking down numerous outside shots. UConn led by 10 with 3 minutes to play.

The Huskies also got 16 points from Christian Vital, 13 points and 12 assists from Jalen Adams and 10 points from Sidney Wilson.

ECU raced out to a 9-2 lead in the game, but quickly it became a back-and-forth affair that the Huskies led 36-33 at the intermission.

After Hill came out blazing to score six of ECU’s first nine points, Williams took over, hitting consecutive 3-pointers at the midway point of the first half to give the Pirates a 19-15 edge. The lead grew to 25-19 on a great look from Fleming to Spasojevic.

UConn stormed back, however, to take its second lead of the half in the final minute of it on Carlton’s basket inside. He had 10 points, as did Hill, who along with Fleming and Justice Obasohan were honored before their final home games in Minges.

Williams added eight first-half points, while the Huskies got nine from Vital and eight from Adams.

The Pirates shot 46 percent in the first 20 minutes, but were outdone by Connecticut’s sizzling 61 percent.

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

August 24, 2019

Here’s our East Carolina beat writer Ronnie Woodward’s shot at ECU football’s starting lineup against N.C. State. First-year Pirate coach Mike Houston should be releasing the team’s Week 1 depth chart Tuesday during his news conference.

Here it is:

OFFENSE

QB -- Holton…

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August 24, 2019

First-year East Carolina football coach Mike Houston has mainly established his starters and is in the fine-tuning phase of August as the noon kickoff against N.C. State in Raleigh is exactly one week away.

ECU was established as a 17-point underdog to the Wolfpack and has the task of trying to…

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August 24, 2019

East Carolina begins its first season under coach Mike Houston one week from today and is aiming to finish better than its three straight 3-9 records from 2016-18. The Pirates haven’t had a winning record since going 8-5 in 2014 under Ruffin McNeill.

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August 24, 2019

New East Carolina football players reported to preseason camp on Aug. 1, about eight months after athletics director Jon Gilbert and football coach Mike Houston reported to Greenville as instant leaders of a new era of Pirate athletics.

It is in many ways still a rebuilding project, which Gilbert…

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August 22, 2019

East Carolina’s first athletic event of the academic year started and stopped and continued again and stopped again, then was canceled because of inclement weather.

ECU’s women’s soccer team was not able to finish Thursday night’s match against George Mason, even with the…

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August 22, 2019

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator Bob Trott and first-year Pirate football head coach Mike Houston were similar with their words Wednesday that they think they know what to expect from N.C. State's offense, but they said preparing for an opponent during Week 1 of the season is…

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August 21, 2019

Many intricacies and focuses for East Carolina football players have changed with Monday's start to the fall semester and the N.C. State game a little more than a week away, but Pirate coach Mike Houston had no plans of intensity dipping with the transition from preseason workouts to in-season and…

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August 20, 2019

No more waiting for Holton Ahlers or the rest of the East Carolina football team or Pirate fans.

With next Saturday’s noon kickoff at N.C. State getting closer and closer, first-year Pirate coach Mike Houston officially announced after Tuesday’s practice that Ahlers will be his…

082119_gdr_ecufootball-8.jpg

August 20, 2019

Quarterback Holton Ahlers led East Carolina’s football team in rushing last season with 592 yards and six touchdowns on 119 carries.

New offensive principles are in place at ECU under a new coaching staff, leading to some intrigue about Ahlers and his run availability. Would this staff, led…

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August 19, 2019

East Carolina first-year football coach Mike Houston described the Pirates' No. 1 center, Branden Pena, as a "tough joker" on Saturday.

The football-centric praise showed how far the relationship has come between Pena and Houston since December.

"Branden Pena is a guy that I didn't know his name…

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