Haven’t done this since my aborted attempt at Louisville, but I’ve got a relaxed deadline and I shall spew thoughts at each timeout.
Once again, my Monday column will be my take on the 2006 football recruiting class, which just finished play.
Officials tonight are Brent Dugas, Tim Gattis and Jeff Smith. Dugas last worked Wednesday, Centenary at La.-Lafayette and has handled two C-USA league games — last one on Jan. 8, East Carolina at Memphis.
Gattis has a good C-USA history, but hasn’t done a league game. He did do back-to-back UCF games at its holiday tournament in late December. He last worked Thursday, North Florida at Kennesaw State.
Smith last worked Quinnipiac at Brown on Monday, so he’ll have fresh legs. He last saw a C-USA team Jan. 2, Texas-Pan Am at Tulane.
Big news in C-USA: Southern Miss booted another road game, 79-65 to SMU. Tulsa grinded out a win at Tulane. UTEP plays Houston and Memphis plays UAB, so the winners will be 4-1 and the losers will be 3-2. With Tulsa already 3-2, the ECU-Marshall winner jumps into the pack. … As you know, the Herd needs this one with @UAB, Memphis, @Houston and @Southern Miss on the horizon.
10 minutes before the national anthem, I’m seeing a little bump in the general admission seats, nothing major. But you do know the late-arriving nature of an MU crowd. … With 1:30 left, we’re starting to see some humanity! Hmmm…
Starters are as you expect: Shaq, Kane, Pitts, Spikes, Baines. Good video from the WVU game!
HERD 13, ECU 6 AT 15:51: Darrius Morrow has the FT for a 3-point play pending. ECU is playing zone, and Kane and Shaq have combined for three 3-point bombs. Crowd rooting for the FB recruits about now.
HED 23, ECU 13 AT 11:38: Morrow has 8 points inside, but nobody else is doing much. The Herd is rolling, as Kane just tossed in another 3-pointer. He has 9. The Herd is really, really cutting off the 3-point shot, as the Pirates have hit just one.
HERD 31, ECU 20 at 7:09: Carl Lee is getting honored with a standing ovation… Herd is teetering on a blowout, though Jontae Sherrod hit a really long 3-pointer to cut into a 14-point lead. Morrow on the line for 2 shots. … Herd hitting 12-of-19 from the floor, outrebounding ECU 10-5.
HERD 39, ECU 28 at 3:40: Morrow missed both out of that timeout, and the Herd is hitting highlight-film shots. Kane and Pitts buried 3-pointers, the last off an Orlando Allen rebound and dish back out. Kane has 12, Shaq 8, Pitts 7.
HERD 44, ECU 36 AT 1:26: Kane hits 12-footer to slow rally. Pirates aren’t going away as long as Sherrod hits long bombs, and he just hit 2 in a row.
HERD 50, ECU 38 at halftime: Dago Pena buries 2 bombs, the last from deep to beat the buzzer. He’s got 8, Shaq 8, Kane 15. For ECU, it’s Sherrod 14, Morrow 12, Young 6, Abrams 4 and that’s all, folks.
HERD 53, ECU 47 at 15:21: Herrion couldn’t wait for the first radio timeout to stem an awful start. Spikes and Allen have 3 fouls, as do ECU’s Morrow and Gaines. Robert Sampson and Sherrod have banged home 3-pointers, and the Herd still has yet to hit its first field goal of the half. Baines has 3 free throws, but that’s it.
HERD 53, ECU 47 AT 14:42: It gets no better as Pitts is way short on a 3, Allen clanks a jumper after the offensive rebound and Kane fouls. Yuck.
Attendance is 6,709, a season high by a fair margin.
HERD 57, ECU 54 AT 11:35: Pirates tie it on 3 Morrow baskets in a row, but Pena has broken the FG drought with a 3-bomb, his 3rd of the game. Baines just abused Corvonn Gaines on a drive, and the Pirates have the ball back with 25 on the shot clock. Herd looks perked up, finally.
HERD 63, ECU 54 AT 10:29: Pena has hit two more huge 3s.
HERD 65, ECU 56 at 8:54: Jeff Lebo takes another timeout as crowd breathes easier. Note: Sherrod’s last shot was changed from a 3-pointer to a 2 some time back.
HERD 70, ECU 61 AT 7:03: Brock Young has a foul shot after a spinaround bucket. That is answering two nice midrange jumpers by Baines, the last in transition. He has 14, Kane 15 and Pena 17. Morrow has 24 for ECU … oh, yeah, Allen has fouled out and Spikes and Aundra have four fouls each. Ouch.
HERD 75, ECU 68 AT 5:16: Huge tip-in by Baines off a missed FT, followed by Sherrod bomb. And now Williams has taken a seat with 5 fouls. Spikes is the last center standing.
HERD 75, ECU 70 AT 3:27: Getting tense again after two Morrow FTs. He has 28. Shaq had a big steal, but Pitts’ twirling layup just rolled off the rim. Pirates have ball with 13 left on the shot clock … timeout called on a near-turnover.
HERD 75, ECU 70 AT 3:17: Last radio timeout. ECU has ball with 3 on the shot clock after Spikes blocked Morrow inside. Fans though the ball never touched Spikes’ hand and therefore is Herd’s ball. Tense possession.
HERD 81, ECU 74 AT 1:42: Pitts just buried a 3 after ECU scored 4 straight points — 2 on a backcourt steal of Pitts. Baines had a 3-point play beforehand. Clutch plays all around.
… Very tardy last entry. I found it hard to digest the final 1:42. As you know, ECU 82, Herd 81. Wow.