Pirates face Wildcats in CIT Final
Jeff Lebo, 220x330 vs. UK 2010
Inside ECU Sports
Posted Apr 1, 2013


ECU looks to close its historic season by bringing home its first postseason tournament championship when they travel to Weber State Tuesday at 8 pm ET.

East Carolina's basketball program has never competed in a postseason tournament championship game in its first 81 years of existence.

The Pirates (22-12) will end that drought Tuesday night at 8 pm ET when they travel to Ogden, Utah, to face the Weber State Wildcats (30-6) for the College Insider.com Postseason Tournament Championship

Both teams enter the game playing its best basketball of the season.

ECU has won its last three games in the CIT by an average of 18.7 points-- including a 81-58 rout of Evansville at Minges Coliseum Saturday-- while Weber State has been on the winning side of 17 of its last 18 games and finished with a 19-2 record in the Big Sky conference.

On the road in Saturday's semi-final, the Wildcats outlasted Northern Iowa in a nail-biter, 59-56.

The Pirates will play on the road Tuesday for the first time since traveling to Southern Miss on March 2, where they were handed a decisive 88-69 loss. They currently own a 5-7 record in games played away from Minges Coliseum this season.

On top of that, Weber State is 18-1 on their home floor at Dee Events Center and holds the top ranked shooting-percentage in the nation (50.5 percent)

"They're one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country...In the last four or five years, they've been the clas of the Big Sky," said ECU head coach Jeff Lebo.

Their offensive balance is something we haven't seen before."

The Wildcats dress three players who average double-figures scoring, led by junior Davion Berry's 15.2 points per game. Junior Kyle Tresnak, a 6-foot-10 center, shoots a team-high 57 percent from the field and averages 11.9 points.

In his six seasons at Weber State, head coach Randy Rahe has captured three conference titles and led the Wildcats to a postseason tournament five times.

Even though some of those numbers can be daunting, ECU is relishing the moment and playing with nothing to lose.

"We're just going to try and have as much fun as we possibly can. We can't go into these games and be tight, and be afraid, and be worried about making a mistake," said Lebo.

"That was my message to them in the last game."

Senior forward Maurice Kemp had his eighth consecutive 20-point performance in that game and knows how much a win in Tuesday's championship means for the school's basketball program.

"A few weeks ago, Lebo told us to look up at the banners in Minges. There's none hanging up," said Kemp. "I know it would mean a lot to the fans for us to bring one back and we want to do that for them."

The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network on television, while Jeff Charles and Si Seymour will call the game on the radio side for the Pirate IMG Sports Network.


Related Stories
ECU Advances to CIT Championship
 -by InsideECUSports.com  Mar 30, 2013
Pirates return home to host Green Wave
 -by InsideECUSports.com  Mar 5, 2013

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