GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- East Carolina has only been in
Conference USA for two seasons, but the Pirates are turning Minges
Coliseum into a dangerous place for some of the league's
Derrick Wiley made a pair of free throws to break a tie with 32
seconds left as East Carolina beat Marquette (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) 73-70 Monday
night, upsetting the Golden Eagles at home for the second straight
"We needed to match them and do more to win the game," Mikulas
said. "When you play a ranked team, you give sometimes more than
what you have."
The victory set off an on-court celebration by the record crowd
of 8,081, the first sellout crowd at Minges in 33 years.
Last season, East Carolina beat ninth-ranked Marquette 51-46 at
home to earn its first win against a top 10 team. The Pirates also
beat Louisville 87-77 for their first league win.
"Last year we were just trying to prove that we could even
survive in this league," Pirates coach Bill Herrion said. "Now
this year, it's different. Now we've got to prove we can get better
than we were last year. We're not going to sneak up on people
The Pirates hadn't played since losing 90-71 at Coastal Carolina
on Dec. 23, a game in which they were outrebounded 43-28. They had
lost two of their last three games with senior guard Travis
Holcomb-Faye out of the lineup due to academic reasons.
"I was worried coming in because I didn't know where the
mindframe of the team was at," Herrion said. "I felt kind of like
we were losing some of our competitiveness the last week or two."
The Pirates answered all Herrion's questions Monday. They held
the Golden Eagles to 42 percent shooting and took a 43-31 edge on
the glass -- including an 18-9 edge in offensive boards.
While shooting just 40 percent from the floor, East Carolina hit
24 of 30 free throws compared to a 12-for-12 effort by Marquette.
"I think you can pretty much write the story based on those two
statistics right there," Marquette coach Tom Crean said.
Dwayne Wade led Marquette (8-2) with 21 points on 7-for-17
shooting, while Robert Jackson added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Down 70-61 with 2:24 left, Marquette rallied with nine straight
points to tie it. During that spurt, Wiley missed a layup with less
than a minute left, and Jackson was fouled on the rebound. He hit
two free throws with 43 seconds left to tie the score.
But Wiley made amends, putting the Pirates back in front 72-70
after drawing a foul by driving on Wade on the next possession.
"I wanted to shoot those free throws because I was mad," Wiley
said. "I knew I had to do something to make up for (the miss)."
After Wade missed a short jumper from the right wing with about
10 seconds left, Moussa Badiane increased the margin to three on a
free throw with 9.5 seconds left.
Marquette had a chance to tie it, but Steve Novak and Wade
missed 3-point shots in the final seconds.
The Pirates came into the game as one of the top defensive teams
in C-USA, holding opponents to 38 percent shooting and 57 points
per game. Their defense helped them back into this game late in the
first half after trailing by 10 points.
Trailing 35-33 at halftime, East Carolina pushed ahead 53-47
after an alley-oop slam by Wiley off a pass from Belton Rivers on
the fast break, followed by a 3-pointer from Rivers with 12:44 to
The Pirates increased the lead to 70-61 on a slam from Badiane
off a feed from Mikulas with 2:24 left.
Marquette, however, responded with a 9-0 run, including a
pull-up 3-pointer from Travis Diener at the 1:36 mark to close to
within 70-66. Jackson then hit a jumper from the right corner
followed by the tying free throws.