Times are great in Greenville; the Pirate nation is in full force and conference basketball has taken center stage. In their last game the Pirates defeated conference opponent UCF 88-85 on a game winning three pointer by Corvonn Gaines just before the overtime buzzer.
This was a big conference win for the Pirates after they suffered a loss in their conference road-opener at Memphis just a week earlier. The team now has a 10-5 overall record and is 1-1 in Conference USA; tying them with four other teams for fifth place in conference standings.
Tomorrow night the Pirates will host conference rival Houston in a game that should have another electrifying finish. For the second week in a row the Pirates face a top ranked conference team as Houston is the second highest scoring team in C-USA averaging 78 points a game; only .1 points behind ECU’s average.
The Cougars have two players averaging above 16 points a game while the Pirates have only one; Maurice Kemp, who averages 17.5 points a game. Miguel Paul is the closest to Kemp with 12.2 points a game. In order to beat this Cougar team the Pirates will need a fast start from both players.
Last season Houston beat ECU in their only contest withstanding a late Pirate comeback. Miguel Paul scored 23 points in that game proving that he knows how to score against the Cougars. However, this season the teams come into this game on two different wavelengths; while the Pirates just earned an exciting conference win in overtime; Houston suffered 21-point conference loss at Southern Miss.
ECU has posted a 9-1 home record and Minges has proved to be a tough place for opponents to play. Starting fast and getting fans behind them early could be a key to victory for the Pirates. This will be another high scoring affair between two teams who know how to put the ball in the basket.
Each conference game presents a new challenge; tomorrow night’s game will be no different. The Pirates have a chance to get another important conference win with a side of redemption; as they face a second straight team which beat them last season. Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum will be rowdy tomorrow night when the Houston Cougars come into town. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. for this C-USA rivalry game; be sure to follow @InsideECUSports on Twitter for live updates.