Men's College Basketball
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McNeese State (2-3) vs. East Carolina (4-1)

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, November 25, 5 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas M. Ryan Center (7,657) -- Kingston, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: McNeese St. 1-0, ECU 2-0. Away Record: McNeese St. 0-2, ECU 1-1. Neutral Record: McNeese St. 1-1, ECU 1-0. Conference Record: McNeese St. 0-0, ECU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The East Carolina Pirates and McNeese State Cowboys will square off in consolation round action of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Ryan Center on Monday night.

Dave Simmons' Cowboys are 2-3 on the young season, although the two victories have come against lesser competition in Louisiana College (92-83) and most recently Stillman College (81-72) as part of earlier action in this event.

Jeff Lebo's Pirates jumped out of the gate with four straight wins to start the 2013-14 campaign. However, the team's longest Division I win streak in school history ended at nine games last week with an 84-73 loss at Duke in regional action of this tournament.

This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs on the hardwood. The Cowboys will play host Rhode Island on Tuesday, while the Pirates will close out tournament play against UNC Asheville.

The Cowboys shot .446 from the floor and .429 from behind the arc, allowing them to post a nine-point win over Stillman last week. Craig McFerrin led a balanced attack that saw five players post double digits for McNeese State, as he was 10-of-14 from the floor, finishing with a game-high 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Ledrick Eackles poured in 18 points in support, while Kevin Hardy, Jamaya Burr and Keelan Garrett chipped in with 13 points apiece in the South consolation game in Tuscaloosa.

Despite the win over Stillman, McNeese State has struggled this season at the defensive end of the court, as foes are averaging 88.2 ppg thus far. Offensively, the team is netting a modest 73.0 ppg. Eackles is the top offensive threat for the Cowboys, averaging 16.0 ppg. Hardy is the only other player in double digits at this time with 10.6 ppg. However, Adrian Fields (9.6 ppg) and McFerrin (9.2 ppg) aren't far off the mark. Hardy and McFerrin are a solid one-two punch on the boards, averaging 9.8 and 7.0 rebounds per game, respectively.

The Pirates have been solid at both ends of the floor this season and as a result, they are enjoying a +18.0 scoring margin. The team is netting 85.4 ppg on a solid .463 shooting and is outrebounding foes by six caroms per game. Akeem Richmond and Paris Roberts-Campbell have been a potent offensive duo, averaging 15.8 and 15.0 ppg, respectively. Caleb White (9.8 ppg) and Brendan Stith (9.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg) have provided plenty of support primarily coming off the bench.

East Carolina hung tough with one of the nation's powerhouses in Durham last week, but just couldn't close the gap in a nine-point loss to Duke. Four Pirates notched double figures in the loss, led by Prince Williams, who finished with 15 points and six assists. Richmond and Antonio Robinson added 13 points each, while Roberts-Campbell chipped in with 11. ECU went an impressive 19-of-20 from the free-throw line, but committed 1 turnovers to the Blue Devils' 10.

East Carolina is the better team here at both ends of the floor. The Pirates should have little trouble finding their way back to the win column.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Carolina 77, McNeese State 62

11/25 10:36:31 ET

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