ECU Pirates Look To Ride Momentum Against Houston

East Carolina vs. Houston
Jan. 12, 2013 | 7 p.m. EST
Greenville, N.C.

TV: None
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ECU Pirates Men's Basketball

Things To Know About The Game
•East Carolina and Houston each enter Wednesday night’s contest with a Conference USA record of 1-1. ECU is coming off an 88-85 overtime win against UCF, while Houston lost at Southern Miss, 73-54, its last time out.
•The game features the top 2 scoring teams in Conference USA. The Pirates lead the league, averaging 78.1 ppg with the Cougars averaging 78.0 ppg. ECU (1172)has scored two more points this season than Houston (1170).
•The home team has won each of the last two meetings in the series. The Cougars claimed an 82-76 win in Houston last season after the Pirates posted a 74-70 triumph in 2011.
•East Carolina is 9-8 at home in Conference USA games since 2011. The Pirates own an all-time mark of 3-3 against the Cougars inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
•Two of Houston’s three losses this season have come on the road (Prairie View A&M, Southern Miss), while ECU has compiled a 9-1 record at home.
•Both teams have two players that rank among the top 15 in the league among 3-point field goal shooters (ECU – Shamarr Bowden, Akeem Richmond; Houston – Joseph Young, Jherrod Stiggers).
•ECU and Houston also rank one and two in C-USA with the highest assist-to-turnover ratios (ECU – 1.4, Houston – 1.1).
•The Pirates are 5-1 at home against its C-USA “West Division” rivals over the past two seasons.

Series Notes
•East Carolina won the first-ever meeting between the two schools, 63-47, on Feb. 23, 2002. Houston proceeded to win seven of the next eight.
•ECU played its first-ever Conference USA tournament game against Houston, suffering a 58-49 loss in the first round of the 2002 championship.
•The Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak to the Cougars with an 84-83 win in 2008. ECU built a 12-point second half lead, but needed two free throws by Cory Farmer with 22 seconds to play to win.
•ECU overcame a 13-point deficit with just over 10 minutes to play and earned a 74-70 victory over the Cougars in their last visit to Minges Coliseum.
•An ECU player has scored 30 points against Houston twice. Darrell Jenkins netted 31 points against the Cougars in 2007 before Sam Hinnant dropped in 30 a year later. Hinnant and Jenkins each made eight 3-pointers in their 30-point outbursts.

Last Time We Met
•Houston barely withstood a furious East Carolina comeback to hold on for an 82-76 victory at Hofheinz Pavilion last season.
•Houston led 74-50 with 7:46 to play. What followed was a 25-2 ECU run, capped by a Robert Sampson jumper that cut the lead to 76-75 with 2:23 left.
•ECU went 0-for-6 from the field in the final two minutes, while Houston made four free throws in the final 1:12 to secure the win.
•Miguel Paul led East Carolina with 23 points, and Shamarr Bowden and Erin Straughn scored 12 each. Sampson finished with 12 rebounds.

Notes, Streaks And Trends
•East Carolina has gone over 80 points in three of the last four games and surpassed the plateau eight times in all this season. The Pirates are 5-3 this season when scoring 80 points, surrendering over 85 points in each of the three losses.
•The Pirates have handed out 20+ assists in five of the last six games. ECU currently ranks seventh in the NCAA statistics with 17.7 assists per game, tops in Conference USA.
•East Carolina has a higher free throw shooting percentage on the road (.755) than at home (.655). The Pirates have shot over 75 percent at the foul line in four of its five road games, but only twice in 10 home games.
•Senior Maurice Kemp has led the Pirates in scoring in seven straight games. He currently ranks second in the league with a 17.5 scoring average.
•Senior Shamarr Bowden has made a 3-pointer in nine consecutive games. Bowden is 22-of-45 (.489). Since being inserted into the starting lineup against N.C. Wesleyan, he is averaging 12.o ppg.
•Senior Miguel Paul has scored double figures in three straight games, his longest streak of the season. ECU posted just its second win of the season when he committed four turnover Saturday. The Pirates are 2-4 this year when he was four or more turnovers, but 6-1 when he has three or less.
•Junior transfer Ty Armstrong has scored double figures in three of the last four games after being held under double digits in the first 11 games.
•Junior Robert Sampson is averaging 11.2 ppg the last six games, scoring double figures in five games. He has also grabbed nine of more rebounds in four of the past six games.

Leftovers From The UCF Game
•All five starters scored double figures with Ty Armstrong, Shamarr Bowden, Maurice Kemp and Miguel Paul scoring 16 points each. Robert Sampson added 11.
•The 17-point comeback is tied for the largest comeback at ECU since 1981. It was the second time this year that the Pirates rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to wins (-14 vs. UNCG).
•The Pirates’ overcame their largest deficit as a member of Conference USA. The previous biggest comeback was 15 points at Marshall in 2011.
•ECU improved to 4-2 against UCF under coach Jeff Lebo.
•Miguel Paul recorded his first double-double of the season and Robert Sampson posted his fourth. It was the third time this season that ECU had two players register a double-double in the same game.
•Junior Ty Armstrong scored double figures for the third time in the last four games with a career-high 16 points.
•East Carolina improved to 1-1 in overtime games this season.
•The Pirates won for the first time this season when yielding 80 or more points (1-3).
•Corvonn Gaines’ game-winning 3-pointer with 0.4 left was his only shot of the game.

Overcoming Double-Digit Deficits
•ECU has overcome a pair of double-digit second half deficits this season, the most recent of which was a 17-point deficit against UCF. The Pirates closed out the second half with a 34-17 run to force overtime and captured an 88-85 victory.
•The comeback against UCF is tied for the third largest by the Pirates since 1981. It was only the seventh time since then that ECU has rallied from 15 or more points down to win.
•The Pirates have overcome six double digit deficits under coach Jeff Lebo.
•Lebo has directed the Pirates’ two largest come-from-behind victories in C-USA play, overcoming a 17-point deficit versus UCF and a 15-point deficit at Marshall.


Up Next
• ECU will travel to Huntington, W.Va. on Saturday for its first of two meetings with Marshall this season. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.