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January 1, 2014

ECU Renews Rivalry with Campbell

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina travels to Buies Creek to face Campbell at Pope Convocation Center Thursday night hoping to snap a two game slide. They haven't lost three in a row since February of 2012.

The Camels used an 11-0 run to beat ECU 86-81 in overtime last year in Greenville after the Pirates made a gallant effort to come back and put the game into overtime. The Camels have won three of the last four against the Pirates who are 0-2 at Gore Arena at the Pope Convocation Center since it opened in 2009.

The last time out, the Pirates fell to Georgia State, 89-82 in Williams Arena.

Campbell enters a five game home stand at only 6-7 on the season, but they come in on an up tick after having won the last three games. They have also had ECU's number over the course of the past few meetings. Before that, ECU had won eight in a row in the series.

The Camels are led in scoring by their center, Darius Leonard, who is currently averaging 12.2 points per game. He can also step out and shoot from three-point range. Leonard hits about 39 percent of his shots from the arc. Guard Andrew Ryan, who is a 41.5 percent three-point shooter, is right behind him at 11.1 per game.

Coming off a 69-63 victory over Georgia Southern, Campbell Head Coach Kevin McGeehan is in his initial season with the Camels after taking over for Robbie Lang who went 13-20 in 2012 and 7-9 in conference play. Lang was fired after last season.

ECU is 4-2 away from the comfortable confines of Minges Coliseum. This is a crucial game in terms of total wins at the end of the season. It is one the Pirates need to get at this juncture after suffering three losses by the end of the holidays.

Both teams can shoot the three ball and both
average 37 percent from the arc. The Camels rank 20th nationally in 3-point field goals made per game (8.7). ECU is 27th in the country in treys made per game (8.5).

Akeem Richmond is 3rd in the nation with 4.36 treys made per contest.

East Carolina entered this week's play ranked 3rd in the nation in total free throws made. The Pirates made an average of 21.5 foul shots through their first 14 contests.

Jerry Smith, the color analyst on the Campbell Radio Network, is the former head coach at Campbell (1983-85) and at Chowan Junior College, where he coached against ECU radio analyst Si Seymour who was at Craven Community College at the time.

Game time is 7 p.m. for East Carolina - Campbell from Gore Arena in Buies Creek on the Pirate IMG Sports Network.

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