Winter weather postpones Pirates-Blazers game|ECU will be back in action Saturday against Tulane

Published 6:52 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — After a lengthy five-game road trip that started Dec. 18 at Coastal Carolina and ended Saturday in Memphis, the East Carolina basketball team will have to wait just a little bit longer to before it can play again at Minges Coliseum as inclement weather has affected the travel of the UAB basketball team and postponed Wednesday night’s contest. The rescheduled game time will be announced at a later date and gives ECU some extra time to prepare for C-USA foe Tulane when it hosts the Green Wave Saturday at 5 p.m.
It has been an up-and-down road trip for the Pirates (8-7, 0-1) who won only one of the five away games, but lost three of them by a combined total of six points.
The competitive nature of the games has kept East Carolina upbeat, with the most encouraging contest being the team’s near upset of No. 21 Memphis its last time out. The Pirates held the Tigers scoreless from the field for the final 5:23 of the game, but fell short 61-58 on Saturday. For a team playing under a first-year coach in Jeff Lebo, almost pulling off a stunner at the tail end of five-game road trip is enough to serve as a confidence builder.
“We feel pretty good about the game,” said junior power forward Darrius Morrow who scored a team-high 17 points against Memphis. “If we would have made a couple of shots here or there and turned the ball over less – me, myself I had five turnovers and I absolutely hate turnovers – but if we would have made few more baskets we should have won the game. We will just use it as a tool to measure where we are at.”
Morrow said one of the area’s the team has improved the most during the season is it’s approach to game day and practice.
“I expect to win every game, I just like the way this team competes. We don’t give up for nobody and we’re not going to lay down for anyone,” Morrow said. “This team is just competitive. Everyday at practice it’s competitive. Every drill there is a winning and a losing team and nobody wants to lose. Everybody wants to win. Losers have to run and nobody wants to run.
“Then there is the extra work. Everybody comes in early and works on their shots everyday. It’s just a way better work ethic.”
That new-found competitive spirit will have to be on display Saturday as East Carolina hosts Tulane (12-3, 2-0), who had won six straight games heading into last night’s C-USA battle with UTEP.
The Green Wave have been led by sophomore forward Kendall Timmons, who is posting 17.7 points per game while pulling down 8.9 rebounds a night.
Tulane also gets solid contributions from senior guard Kris Richards, sophomore guard Jordan Callahan and senior guard Aaron Holmes.
Richards is tallying 13.9 points per game while his backcourt mate Callahan is scoring 12.9 points a night and handing out 4.3 assists per game. Holmes, the third guard in the team’s three-guard lineup is posting 10 points per game and grabbing four rebounds a night.
The Pirates have been led in scoring this season by senior shooting guard Jontae Sherrod who has poured in 13.4 points per night, while senior small forward Jamar Abrams is shooting 43 percent from downtown to record 11.2 points per game. Morrow is grabbing 5.5 rebounds a night to lead ECU, while scoring 10.9 points per game.
Senior point guard Brock Young is still nursing a knee injury after having preseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus and is tallying nine points a night 9.6 points per night and is tied for the team lead in assists as his 53 helpers are matched by Corvonn Gaines.