Jan. 29, 2013
Things To Know About The Game
East Carolina will play its final home game for the next two weeks Wednesday night as the host Conference USA co-leader Memphis at 7 p.m.
Both teams are coming off 1-point games. The Pirates lost 68-67 to UTEP Saturday night as the Miners' McKenzie Moore threw in a 30-footer at the buzzer to break the hearts of the Pirate Nation, while Memphis survived a hard-fought game at home against Marshall, 73-72.
The Pirates will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season. ECU is 10-2 at home this season, while Memphis is 3-0 on the road with wins at Tennessee, UAB and Rice.
Memphis (6.1) and ECU (4.6) rank one and two in the league in blocked shots. Memphis' D.J. Stephens leads C-USA with 2.2 bpg, while the Pirates' Robert Sampson is fourth with 1.8 bpg.
The Pirates are the league's top scoring at 77.6 points per game, while Memphis is fourth with 73.2 ppg. ECU is averaging 81.7 points at home during league play, while the Tigers haven't yielded more than 53 points in either of their first two C-USA road games.
ECU and Memphis each have a turnover margin of +1.6. Memphis ranks second in the conference with 9.8 steals per game, but the Pirates are averaging the third-fewest turnovers per game in the league (12.6).
East Carolina is averaging 7.5 3-pointers per game compared to 4.8 by the Tigers. The Pirates have three players ranked among the top 15 in C-USA in 3-point field goals made, while Memphis has none. ECU junior Akeem Richmond leads C-USA with 2.5 made per game.
Memphis has won four straight in the series and 13 of 14 all-time meetings. The Pirates lone win in the series came March 2, 2011 inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, 68-57.
Only three of the 14 meetings have been decided by less than double figures, all won by the Tigers (2004: 79-73, 2005: 72-66, 2011: 61-58). Of the aforementioned games, only the 2004 contest was played in Greenville.
East Carolina has only topped the 70-point mark once against the Tigers, scoring 73 points during Memphis' first visit to Minges Coliseum in 2004.
This will be the final regular season meeting between the Pirates and Tigers as Conference USA members. Memphis is leaving the league at the end of the year to join the Big East Conference.
ECU and Memphis didn't play during the Pirates' initial season in Conference USA 12 years ago. The two didn't match up until 2003 when ECU made its first and only visit to The Pyramid.
Notes, Streaks And Trends
East Carolina has scored over 80 points in each of its last four wins and have been held under 70 in each of its last three losses. The Pirates are 10-2 when scoring over 70 points this season, but just 2-4 when scoring 69 or less.
After yielding 50 percent shooting against UCF and Houston, the Pirates have held each of their last three opponents under the mark.
The Pirates have handed out 20+ assists in seven of the last nine games. ECU currently ranks seventh in the NCAA statistics with 17.5 assists per game, tops in Conference USA.
Since conference play began, ECU has shot the ball much better at the free throw line. The Pirates are shooting nearly 75 percent (.746) at the charity stripe through six league games. ECU has shot 73.9 percent or better at the charity stripe in five of the last six games, including a 19-of-24 (.792) performance against Houston and 20-of-21 vs. UTEP (.952).
Senior Maurice Kemp has scored double figures in 12 straight games and ranks second in C-USA in scoring (17.3 ppg).
Senior Miguel Paul has scored double figures in seven straight games, his longest streak of the season and handed out double figure assists twice in the last four games. He also has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3 in those games (53 assists, 23 turnovers).
Junior transfer Ty Armstrong has played 20 minutes in six straight games after seeing 20 minutes of action just once in non-conference play. He is also averaging 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in conference play, which includes three double figure scoring performance.
Bowden Suspended For Memphis Game
ECU senior Shamarr Bowden has been suspended for one game by coach Jeff Lebo after he was ejected Saturday night from the UTEP contest.
The Road Lies Ahead
Following Wednesday night's game against Memphis, East Carolina will not play another home game until Feb. 13 against UAB.
The Pirates will be at Rice on Saturday, then have a week between games before heading to UCF on Feb. 9.
ECU returns to the court Saturday night in Houston against Rice. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST at Tudor Fieldhouse.