Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pirates have sinking feeling this season

Nothing’s going right at East Carolina this season.

The Pirates (5-21) are in the throes of a 13-game losing streak and are winless in as many Conference USA games.

Here’s how bad it’s gotten:

The Pirates had a chance Wednesday at home against Marshall. With the Thundering Herd leading 53-51 and less than 30 seconds to play, East Carolina point guard Darrell Jenkins drove the lane and found himself wide open.

But Jenkins missed the uncontested layup and Marshall went on to win 54-51.

“Everybody wants to take the last shot,” Jenkins told reporters afterward. “I got to the basket and as soon as the ball left my hand, I knew it was off. I just knew it. I took my eye off the basket.”

It was a particularly inglorious loss for the Pirates. It tied a CUSA record for most defeats in a row, set by DePaul in 1995-96 and ’96-97.

The Pirates have also lost 14 of 15 and haven’t beaten an NCAA Division I team since Nov. 18, a 72-64 triumph against UNC Greensboro. An 80-42 loss against Southern Mississippi on Feb. 14 was East Carolina’s worst loss in Minges Coliseum, which opened in 1965.

-- David Scott