Pirates wrangle Cobras in opener

Published 10:20 am Saturday, November 15, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — East Carolina extended its season opening win streak to nine games as it corralled the Coker College Cobras 71-56 Friday night.
Chad Wynn and Sam Hinnant spearheaded ECU’s attack, as they scored early and often to propel the Pirates to their first win of the season.
The game had a few ups and downs for East Carolina, as it started off hot, then hit a drought near halftime, but for the most part it was all ups in its season opener.
Pirates’ coach Mack McCarthy said he was a little surprised by the highs and lows of his team’s performance.
Hinnant was a big part of the positives for ECU, as he led all scorers with 21 points, and added five rebounds, while Wynn shot a near perfect 5-6 from the floor and 5-6 from the free-throw line to tally 15 points.
Hinnant said for the Pirates to get a win over a Div. II opponent in convincing fashion was critical.
Some early first half foul trouble limited Wynn to only 22 minutes, but when he was on the floor his impact was felt.
Wynn showed some progress with his low post moves, and displayed some range on his jumper when he stepped back and nailed a 17-footer in the first half, despite nursing a soar right shoulder.
The sophomore said he was pleased with his and the team’s opening night performance.
The Pirates jumped out to an early 21-4 lead when freshman power forward Darrius Morrow earned his first ever points in an East Carolina uniform from the free throw line.
Morrow (four points, four rebounds) checked in at the 13:21 mark and less then 30 seconds later he got the ball in his hands on the right block, spun baseline, drew a foul and proceeded to hit both his shots.
The Pirates’ starting lineup of Wynn, Hinnant, Jamar Abrams (five points, six rebounds), Brock Young (six points, nine assists) and James Legan (nine points, four rebounds) got the team off to a great start, but the second unit couldn’t match their effort.
Midway through the first half the let the Cobras (Conference Carolinas) back into the game when they allowed them to go on a 12-2 run to cut ECU’s lead to 23-18.
The Pirates eventually got back on track and went into the break up 32-22
Coker’s Vatrick Thompson led the charge scoring six first-half points en rout to a team-high 16.
East Carolina came out in the second half and quickly put the game out of reach as it went on a 19-4 run to widen the gap to 51-26.
East Carolina will be back in action on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. when it hosts another Div. II foe in St, Andrews.