UNC-Wilmington (4-5) at East Carolina (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Minges Coliseum (8,000) -- Greenville, North Carolina. Television: WITN. Home Record: UNCW 2-1, ECU 2-0. Away Record: UNCW 2-4, ECU 1-1. Neutral Record: UNCW 0-0, ECU 3-0. Conference Record: UNCW 0-0, ECU 0-0. Series Record: UNC-Wilmington leads, 33-27.
GAME NOTES: Two teams with quite a bit of history with one another, mix it up in Greenville on Sunday evening, as the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks take on the East Carolina Pirates.
UNCW comes in at a game below .500 on the season (4-5), and the team has lost three of its last four. The most recent outing for the Seahawks resulted in a 60-55 setback at home to Stephen F. Austin. The team is just 2-4 in true road games this year.
As for East Carolina, it has shot out of the gate with six wins in its first seven outings. The Pirates have won two-in-a-row since suffering their lone loss at Duke on Nov. 19, with their most recent triumph coming in an 81-70 final versus UNC Asheville two days before Thanksgiving.
UNCW owns a 33-27 advantage in the all-time series with ECU, but this is the first meeting between the two since the Pirates took a 99-85 decision in Wilmington back on Dec. 3, 2008.
With a losing record on the year, it's little surprise that the Seahawks are scoring fewer points than they permit on the season (67.9 ppg to 75.1 ppg). The team is shooting just 39.4 percent from the field, while draining only 21.5 percent of its 3-point attempts. Cedrick Williams (14.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Addison Spruill (13.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg) are UNCW's only double-digits scorers to this point, as no other player nets more than 7.1 ppg. Ben Eblen serves as the team's primary playmaker, handing out 3.9 apg, while Tanner Milson is the club's top long-range sniper, converting 16-of-37 (.432) launches from 3-point land in the nine games played.
East Carolina has had very little trouble scoring points, as the team averages a robust 85.6 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .473 overall and .401 from beyond the arc. The Pirates have also performed well at the defensive end, yielding 67.0 ppg with foes connecting on only 39.3 percent of their total shots, and 28.4 percent of their 3-point tries. Add favorable margins in both rebounding (+7.3) and turnovers (+1.3), and it's no surprise the team has enjoyed considerably more success than failure through the first month of the season. The Pirates have three double-digit scorers in Akeem Richmond (16.3 ppg), Paris Campbell (15.9 ppg) and Caleb White (10.4 ppg), while Brandan Stith (9.4 rpg) leads the club's rebounding effort despite coming off the bench in each game, and Prince Williams runs an efficient show with his 27 assists.
While the Seahawks are sure to put forth maximum effort, they are likely to come up short against an ECU squad that is pretty much firing on all cylinders at the moment.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 79, UNC-Wilmington 64
12/01 10:37:20 ET