East Carolina (16-14) at Old Dominion (14-16)
GAME NOTES: The East Carolina Pirates travel north to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs, in a Conference USA matchup at the Constant Convocation Center on Thursday night.
On Sunday, the Pirates lost at Marshall, 64-61. That snapped a three-game win streak for ECU, leaving the squad tied for 13th place in the C-USA standings with Florida Atlantic.
ODU also fell on the road this past Sunday, dropping a 74-63 decision to Charlotte. The Monarchs have alternated wins and losses in nine straight games, and they are currently tied for sixth place in the conference with Tulane.
ODU leads the all-time series, 37-14. The two teams met back on Jan. 11 with the Monarchs winning by a score of 81-70 in Greenville. Keenan Palmore led the way with 23 points, followed by Aaron Bacote with 18. Richard Ross and Denzell Taylor both grabbed six rebounds. ODU shot 56.4 percent from the floor in the win and outrebounded ECU, 36-29.
Caleb White netted 23 points to pace the Pirates in their loss to Marshall. Akeem Richmond put in 15 points, Antonio Robinson added 10 and Prince Williams cleared 10 boards in the loss. ECU owned a 41-30 lead at halftime after shooting a sizzling 60.9 percent from the floor in the first half. The Pirates plummeted to 28 percent in the second half, which opened the door for the Herd, who began the period on a 16-0 run. The Pirates still led, 61-59, with less than a minute to play when a three-point play pushed the Herd ahead. Richmond then missed a 3-pointer at the other end to give Marshall the victory.
On the season, ECU boasts an impressive offensive attack, shooting 44.6 percent from the field and a conference-best 71.8 percent at the charity stripe. That's combining to produce 74.1 ppg, second-best in C-USA, and is usually good enough to support a modest defensive effort (70.6 ppg). Richmond leads the way with 18.3 ppg and his 138 3-pointers are the second-most in the nation. White (12.8 ppg) and Paris Campbell (11.8 ppg) also score in double figures, while Williams and Michael Zangari (9 ppg each) are close.
The Monarchs lost at Charlotte Sunday, and Aaron Bacote led with 17 points, followed by Ambrose Mosley with 12 off the bench, and Dimitri Batten with 10. Denzell Taylor led the Monarchs in rebounding with seven. ODU shot a strong 50 percent from the field, but Charlotte was even better, knocking down 51.7 percent and outrebounding the Monarchs, 35-25, for the game.
Bacote leads the Monarchs in scoring this season with 16.4 ppg, but he is shooting just 40.5 percent from the floor. His 87 assists are tops on the squad, and his 36.1 percent mark from 3-point range also paces the team. Batten is second in scoring at 10.7 ppg, and Keenan Palmore checks in with 10.2 ppg. Richard Ross leads the Monarchs in rebounding with 7.1 rpg, and he adds 71 blocked shots to his stat line. As a unit, they are scoring just 63.5 ppg, second-worst in the C-USA, while giving up 65.3 ppg.
The Pirates are an offensive machine and the Monarchs don't have the horses to keep up. Although ODU is the better defensive squad, ECU can compete in its own end of the floor and should be able to return home with a victory.
GAME NOTES: The East Carolina Pirates travel north to take on the Old Dominion
Monarchs, in a Conference USA matchup at the Constant Convocation Center on
Thursday night.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Constant Convocation Center (9,100) -- Norfolk, Virginia.
Television: None. Home Record: ECU 10-6, ODU 9-6. Away Record: ECU 3-8, ODU
5-8. Neutral Record: ECU 3-0, ODU 0-2. Conference Record: ECU 5-10, ODU 8-7.
Series Record: Old Dominion leads, 37-14.Game Date and Time
Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
East Carolina 70, Old Dominion 64