ECU looks to turn two|Pirates will try for second straight win tonight against Rice

Published 7:55 pm Saturday, January 30, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — The Pirates finally removed the zero from their Conference USA win column as they topped a Kevin Sims-less Tulane squad 61-46 on Sunday to improve to 7-13 (1-5).
The win also snapped East Carolina’s five game losing streak and with Rice (6-13, 0-6) coming up tonight at home, ECU is in a decent position to win back-to-back games for the first time since the school beat South Dakota State and UNC-Greensboro on Nov. 23 and 28, respectively.
The Pirates got a big boost from Darrius Morrow, who returned to action after serving a three-game suspension for being arrested on Dec. 21 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Morrow came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points, while pulling down six rebounds and blocking two shots.
The 6-8 sophomore forward is second on the team in scoring with a 12.4 points per game average, while leading the team with 6.7 rebounds a night. Morrow is also the C-USA leader in field goal percentage, shooting .58 percent from the floor.
Junior point guard Brock Young is the team’s leading scorer with a 15-point per game average, which is eighth best in the conference, while tossing out a league-best six assists a night.
The win should provide some much-needed confidence for a group that has seen its fair share of struggles this season. One of the area’s the Pirates have had the most trouble with this season is with its three-point shooting. The trademark of the team last season, ECU has been horrid this year from beyond the arc shooting .315 from downtown, which is tied for the worst in C-USA with Rice.
In its victory over Tulane, East Carolina shot a wretched 3-15 from three-point land, to go along with its 8-18 night from the charity stripe.
The Pirates will have to put forth a better shooting effort tonight if it wants to win its second game in a row. The last-place Owls sit right under ECU in the conference standings, but there is no doubt second-year coach Ben Braun’s team will come in to Minges Coliseum swinging.
In Rice’s most recent loss, the young Owls went the distance with Tulsa before falling 73-65.
That defeat handing Rice its seventh straight loss, and you can bet the Owls are eying their matchup with ECU as a chance to get their first Conference USA win and snap their skid.
Rice is led by two promising freshmen in guard Tamir Jackson and forward Arsalan Kazemi.
The 6-2 Jackson is the team’s leading scorer averaging 11.5 points per game, while dishing out a team-high three assists per night to go along with his team-best two steals per game.
Kazemi is a 6-7 forward from Iran, and is second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding averaging 10.4 and 8.3 respectively. Kazemi’s 8.3 boards per game is third-best in Conference USA.
Parking and hospitality events revised for Saturday’s ECU doubleheader
ECU Sports Information 
GREENVILLE — Due to the forecast of inclement weather this weekend, East Carolina University officials have announced operational changes that will be implemented for the scheduled women’s and men’s basketball doubleheader Saturday.
Tip-off times for the Lady Pirates’ game against Memphis and the Pirates’ matchup against Rice inside Minges Coliseum remain set at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively, but parking and Pirate Club hospitality events have been revised.
•There will be an open parking policy (no passes, no attendants) in place for lots adjacent to Minges Coliseum for fans who can drive safely to campus;
•Doors to Minges Coliseum will open at 3:30 p.m.;
•All scheduled Pirate Club events (Friday banquet, hospitality social between games) are postponed.
 Fans are encouraged to check for possible updates and exercise caution driving to the games if weather conditions allow transportation.
 The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Pitt County in effect from 9 p.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Sunday, which means a potential for snow, sleet and ice to develop in the area.