Published 1:06 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
After a tough 77-71 loss to George Mason last Saturday, East Carolina showed resiliency on Tuesday as it bounced back to take a 93-90 overtime win over VCU.
The victory upped the Pirates’ record to 4-1, which puts them at the top of Conference USA along with Memphis, Southern Miss and UAB.
East Carolina faces another challenge tonight as it will leave Greenville for the first time all season when it takes on the Winthrop Eagles at 7 p.m.
During the Pirates’ media day, coach Mack McCarthy said road games were an issue last season for his young club, and joked that his team didn’t even know how to pack for the long trips.
ECU’s Sam Hinnant has been through the routine, but said it will be an adjustment for the younger players.
00020000052900000472523,East Carolina should do just fine tonight against the Eagles (Big South Conference, 1-4) as long as it remembers to bring its offensive touch on the bus.
Through five games the Pirates are scoring a C-USA-best 83 points per game, topping teams by an average margin of 13 points (third in the conference), while shooting a scorching 48 percent from the field (second in the conference).
Seniors Hinnant and James Legan have been on fire lately, and are fifth and 11th in the conference in points per game with 19 and 16, respectively.
Unselfish play as been one of ECU’s offensive trademarks this year. Point guard Brock Young has done a nice job finding open teammates and his 8.6 assists per game leads C-USA.
As a team, the Pirates are number one in the conference in assists with 19 per contest.
On the flip side, the Eagles have struggled to shoot the ball all season. After winning its season opener against North Greenville 67-42, Winthrop lost its next four games.
The Eagles head into tonight’s matchup fresh off a 74-48 beat-down by N.C. State, and will be looking to rebound against the Pirates.
Winthrop is led by 6-6, 221-pound forward Cameron Stanley who leads his team in points per game (11.3) and assists (45). Sophomore forward Charles Corbin is the team’s top rebounder with 6.5 boards a night.