After one of their toughest road stretches of the season, the East Carolina men’s basketball team returns to Minges Coliseum this week for a two-game home stay. The Pirates host South Carolina State on Tuesday night at 7 pm before welcoming Campbell to Minges on Friday night.
ECU is currently 5-2 on the season after a 2-2 stretch away from home. The Pirates finished 2-1 in the Gulf Coast Showcase with wins over Toledo and UT Arlington, and a loss to Indiana State. ECU suffered its biggest loss of the season last Saturday at Old Dominion, 71-50, to end a four-game road streak in six days with Thanksgiving mixed up. ECU trailed ODU only 31-30 at half time, but was outscored 40-20 after the break.
“We knew it was going to be a really challenging stretch,” first-year head coach michael schwarz said. “Four games in six days. Some really good things happened on the trip to Florida. Some good things happened even in the ODU game in the first half. Obviously really disappointed with how the game ended there in the second half.”
South Carolina State enters Tuesday night as one of the few winless teams in college basketball, though the Bulldogs have had a brutal schedule to start the year. The team opened with seven straight road games and will play 11 in a row before its home opener on December 13. The campaign began with an 80-77 loss at South Carolina. Since then, the Bulldogs have suffered losses at Tennessee State (80-61), Duquesne (96-71), Kentucky (106-63), North Florida (72-66), Wake Forest (105-74) and Western Kentucky ( 90-66). 64).
“They’ve played in some of the best environments in the country and they’ve played against really good teams,” Schwartz said. “We’ll have a great atmosphere here, but they’re not going to be intimidated and they’re not going to come here uncomfortable on tour. They are well versed in being on the road. It will all come down to what happens between the lines.”
South Carolina State opened ECU last season, losing 70-62. The Bulldogs went 15-16 overall and 7-7 in league action. A former long time assistant of bob huggins, erik martin is the first-year head coach at South Carolina State. The Bulldogs average 68 points per game and allow 89 points per game. Sophomore guard Lesown Hallums leads the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game. Guard Rakeim Gary is averaging 8.0 points per game.
ECU is a 15-point favourite, according to several sportsbooks. But with a young team, Schwartz knows his Pirates can’t take anyone lightly.
“We’re not much better than them,” Schwartz said. “There’s really no reason for us to get too confident in any game we play. South Carolina State is a really good team, a very well-trained team. They have had seven away games. The way we felt when we had to go on tour for three and then go to ODU, they have felt it since November 7th. They’ve been on tour in Wake Forest, in Kentucky, in Western Kentucky. The record doesn’t make sense. I think these are two teams that are hungry because both are coming off a loss. That’s all that matters. I know they’re going to be ready and we’re going to be ready.”
East Carolina currently leads in scoring by second-year point guard small soap. He is averaging 19.7 points per game and has 35 assists to 18 turnovers. Brandon Johnson is second on the team to score with 13.2 points per game and leads with 9.2 rebounds per game. second year guard rjfelton he is averaging 11.0 points and 5.1 boards per game.
The Pirates lead the all-time series against South Carolina State 2-0 in basketball.
Here’s more information on how to watch, stream, and listen to ECU’s game against South Carolina State on Tuesday night.
Date: Tuesday, November 29
Weather: 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Site: Minges Coliseum (Greenville, North Carolina)
TV streaming/online: ESPN+
Announcers: Patrick Johnson (play-by-play), Si Seymour (analyst)
Listen: 107.9 FM locally in North Carolina