Pirates, Golden Hurricane tip-off CUSA Tourney
No. 10 East Carolina and No. 7 Tulsa will meet at Noon (CT) today
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The lone regular season contest between the teams came a month ago in Greenville. Tulsa took a 66-61 win by outscoring East Carolina, 45-35, in the second half on the strength of the hot shooting of James Andrews. Andrews, who knocked down five three’, finished with 21 points. The team’s leading scorer Ben Uzoh (15.1 ppg) registered a double-double, as he had 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. The Pirates were led by the streaky-shooting James Legan, who hit five three’s and had 18 points in the game. Frontcourt players John Fields and Gabe Blair also reached double figures with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
East Carolina has lived and died by the three this season. The Pirates are the league’s second-best three point-shooting team at 38.7 percent (UAB is first at 38.8 percent). The Pirates have hit 13 or more three-pointers in three of the last four games.
For McCarthy’s club to pull off the upset and advance to meet UAB in Thursday’s quarterfinals, it must get a solid game from its backcourt. It can’t be a one-man show as it was in the first match-up. Hinnant, Jenkins and/or Farmer must also carry some of the scoring load this time around.
ECU must also keep Tulsa off the boards, as the Golden Hurricane pounded the Pirates on glass in the first meeting. Second chance points must be kept to a minimum.
If Tulsa can guard the arc and dominate on the boards, it should survive to play another day.