Another Step Towards Tourney Bid

East Carolina's 61-58 win over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in Greenville may have earned the Pirate hoopsters another trip to Cincinnati, this time for the C-USA Tournament.

ECU (9-15, 3-9 C-USA) built a solid 9-point advantage at the break (31-22) but had to rally from 7 points down in the second. USM (7-15, 2-10 C-USA) opened the half on a 22-6 run to take a seven-point lead, 44-37, with 12:33 remaining, but thanks to some timely baskets by Kenyatta Brown and Travis Holcomb-Faye the Pirates outscored the Eagles 27-14 down the stretch to secure the win.

ECU's Gabriel Mikulas led all scorers with 16 points and Erroyl Bing recorded a game-high 11 rebounds. Holcomb-Faye finished with eight points, while Brown and Bing had seven each. Bryan Foxx finished with 11 points and Devin Boddie had eight.

The win, ECU's third in conference play pushes the Pirates ahead of USM and DePaul in qualifying for the tournament. The two teams with the worst conference records will be excluded from participation.

ECU's remaining conference contests include visits to Louisville and TCU. The remaining home games are Marquette and Houston. The Pirates next game is Feb. 16 against non-conference foe Birmingham Southern. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

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