(13) Marquette 70

(8-2, 0-1 C-USA)

East Carolina 73

(9-2, 1-0 C-USA)

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2002

    Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    1 2 T
    #13MARQ 35 3570
    ECU 33 4073

    ECU beats No. 9 Marquette for second straight year

    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 established teams.

     Gabriel Mikulas
    Gabriel Mikulas, left, scored 22 points Monday.

    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 season.

    Gabriel Mikulas had 22 points and 11 rebounds for East Carolina (9-2). Erroyl Bing had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Wiley added 14 in the C-USA opener for both teams.

    "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 anymore."

    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 play.

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2002-03 Season

    » Dec 30, 2002 @ECU 73, MARQ 70Recap
    Jan 29, 2003 @MARQ 80, ECU 48Recap