ECU Hoops Finally Ends Road Losing Woes
Dylan Johnson / ESPN Greenville
The East Carolina University Pirates came up with an 85-81 win over Tulane on Saturday night in New Orleans. The Pirates improved to 10-16 (3-11 AAC), while Tulane dropped to 4-22 (0-14 AAC). ECU snapped a five-game losing streak with the win while Tulane lost its sixteenth consecutive game. Here are some takeaways:
- First-half fireworks: Tulane led ECU 53-47 at halftime and if that felt like a high-scoring game for the bottom two teams of the AAC, it’s because it was. The 47 points marked a season high for points in a half for ECU, while the 53 points in a half were also a season-high for Tulane. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half. ECU jumped out to a quick 20-9 lead but Tulane answered with a 19-7 run of its own.
“One of the worst things that happened to us is that we got off to a good start. We didn’t do what we did in the first seven or eight minutes and Tulane got on a roll,” ECU head coach Joe Dooley told reporters.
2. Turnovers: The Pirates forced Tulane into 21 turnovers that resulted in 29 points while ECU committed just eight turnovers. More impressive, however, is the 16 turnovers forced in the second half alone where ECU scored 17 points off of to help outscore the Green Wave 38-28 in the second half.
“We got a little bit grittier in the second half and guarded like we’re capable of,” Dooley told reporters.
3. Shawn Williams: Williams scored just two points at home when the two teams met previously but he has absolutely hit his stride recently. Williams scored a season-high 27 points against Tulane, one game after setting a season-high with 26 points against Tulsa. In the last four games, Williams is 19-for-34 from 3 and has upped his scoring average from 10.4 to 12.4. Williams enjoys feasting at Tulane especially, as he was 6-for-6 from 3 in the road game last season in addition to going 5-for-10 Saturday.
4. Isaac Fleming: Fleming put forth his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds, both season-highs for Fleming. Fleming recorded ECU’s only two triple-doubles in program history last season. Fleming has become much more aggressive scoring the basketball. He scored in double figures in just 2 of the first 13 games but has done so in 8 of the last 12 games since.
5. Finally some road success: ECU came into the game at Tulane with a 0-9 road record and had not won a road game in over a year since defeating, you guessed it, Tulane last season. ECU dominates Tulane on the road and has won six consecutive times in New Orleans.
ECU has an intimidating opponent next on its schedule as it returns home to Minges Coliseum to host the Houston Cougars, who as of Sunday were ranked No. 9 in the country. Houston dominated ECU 94-50 in Houston back on Jan. 23.
As a team, Houston ranks near the top in every category. That includes being the top of the AAC in points margin, scoring defense, 3-point percentage defense, field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin, 3 point field goals made.
The Cougars are led by Corey Davis Jr., with 15.7 points per game, and Armoni Brooks with 13.8 points per game. The two rank nos 1 (Brooks, 3.4) and 4 (Davis Jr., 2.8) in 3-point field goals per game in the conference.