Pirates hit the road to take on Tulane

Published 3:10 am Wednesday, February 11, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES,Sports Writer
Confident after a solid two-game home stand in which East Carolina topped Southern Miss and UCF, the Pirates will try to fit that swagger into their luggage when they travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane.
ECU has strung together two of its best performances of the season in back-to-back games and has recaptured hope for a winning season, which is something that looked nearly impossible after its loss to Rice two weeks ago.
Pirates’ coach Mack McCarthy said the team’s resurrection is a result of its willingness to roll its sleeves up and not give up on the season.
The Pirates currently sit in sixth place in Conference USA with a 12-10 (4-5) record, and need to win three of their next seven games to finish the regular season over .500 for the first time since the 1996-97 season.
ECU battled Tulane at home in its Conference USA opener and won 69-66 thanks to some late free throws.
The rematch is expected to be just as tough.
The Green Wave (9-13, 3-6) features three player who are averaging double-digits in scoring in Kevin Sims (12 ppg.), Robinson Louisme (10.3 ppg) and Kris Richard (10.2 ppg.)
Sims, a 5-10 junior point guard is also handing out nearly four assists per night, while Louisme, a senior forward is pulling down 6.5 boards a night.
ECU is led by Hinnant, and James Legan, who are 11th and 16th in the conference in scoring with 15.4 and 12.6 points per game, respectively.
Sophomore Brock Young continues to lead C-USA and all Div. I players with 7.7 assists per game, while freshman forward Darrius Morrow is the team’s top rebounder with 7.3 boards per night, which is seventh in the conference. Morrow’s 3.3 offensive rebounds per game is tops in C-USA.
If the Pirates can beat Tulane tonight it will be only the second time in school history that they have swept a series with a Conference USA opponent. The first time came last season when ECU topped Rice twice.