ECU set to host Tulane|Pirates look to bounce back from Marshall blowout

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — The disaster known as the Pirates’ basketball season continues tonight as East Carolina tries to rebound from its crushing 100-49 loss to Marshall on Saturday.
The Pirates have now lost eight of their last nine games during a span that is arguably the softest portion of their schedule.
After picking up their only Conference USA win of the season against Tulane on Jan. 24, East Carolina lost to struggling Rice and UCF, before getting annihilated at Marshall.
The loss gives ECU a 7-16 (1-8) record and a seat in last place in the conference.
Against the Herd, the Pirates tallied only 12 field goals for the game and allowed Marshall to peel off a 30-11 run in the second half.
That loss, combined with the back-to-back losses to Rice and UCF, have no doubt made the seat under coach Mack McCarthy a hot one. The third-year skipper can try to cool it off tonight as his squad will face the only Conference USA team it has beaten this year at home at 7 p.m.
Tulane comes into Greenville having just as bad of a year as the Pirates as the Green Wave boast a 7-15 (2-7) record.
Tulane, who has been without injured senior leader Kevin Sims since Jan. 11, has lost five of its last six games, and its only two C-USA victories have come against Rice.
The absence of Sims has thrust junior guard Kris Richard into the spotlight as the 6-5 junior leads the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game.
Like the Pirates, offense has been an issue for the Green Wave as it scores a Conference USA-worst 63 points per game. East Carolina is 10th in the league in scoring posting 66 points a night.
Rebounding has been one of Tulane’s biggest problems this season. The team has no one averaging more than five rebounds a night, and are 11th in C-USA in rebounding margin at -7.1.
Junior forward David Booker leads the team in boards with 4.5 a contest.
Rebounds haven’t been as much of a problem for ECU thanks to Darrius Morrow’s 6.8 boards a night. The sophomore power forward is also second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game.
Junior point guard Brock Young leads the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game despite .34 shooting percentage. Young is the ninth highest scorer in the conference, while dishing out a league best 5.8 assists per game.