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December 17, 2008When NC State opened the season at New Orleans, payback was on the minds of the Wolfpack players and coaches.
NC State came through with a 65-59 victory to get revenge for losing to the Privateers last year at the RBC Center.
NC State (5-1) gets another opportunity to show that this year's team is different from last year's with East Carolina coming to the RBC Center for a 7 p.m. game tonight.
ECU stunned NC State 75-69 last year at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C., the first time the Wolfpack had lost to the Pirates in 17 contests. NC State became the first ACC team to lose to ECU in 57 games.
"We owe them one from last year and really look forward to that game," NCSU redshirt junior shooting guard Trevor Ferguson said.
ECU shooting guard Sam Hinnant was unconscious, scoring 30 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field and 6 of 8 on three-pointers. The Pirates shot 10 of 18 from three-point range as a team, including a blistering 8 of 12 in the first half.
"We remember that and we'll be ready," said Ferguson coyly about facing Hinnant tonight, the lone returning starter for the Pirates.
NC State coach Sidney Lowe pointed out that East Carolina might be an even better team this year. The Pirates are off to an 8-1 start.
"We'll have to be ready to play and we'll come with energy," said Lowe, who doesn't want to play ECU in Greenville in the future. "They are very good. There are a lot of schools that I wouldn't want to schedule at home at their place.
"They play together and they play hard. Those are things that we talk about with our team. We are going to need to play well."
Lowe said with so many ECU fans in the Triangle area makes the game personal for the players.
"It's always tough to lose a ball game, certainly when you play an in-state team," Lowe said. "The guys have to see their friends and neighbors and family members and all that.
"It was tough, it was a tough loss for us. Hopefully, we can bounce back this year. They'll be tough again coming back here with a lot of confidence."
East Carolina preview
NC State 2008-09 roster
East Carolina roster
East Carolina schedule/results
East Carolina (8-1) at NC State (5-1)
Game time: Today, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. - RBC Center, Raleigh
Television: None, ACC Select
PG - 10 Javi Gonzalez (5-11, Soph., 4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.2 spg)
SG - 15 Trevor Ferguson (6-5, R-Jr., 7.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.2 apg)
SF - 4 Courtney Fells (6-6, Sr., 13.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 apg) or 2 Simon Harris (6-6 R-Sr., 1.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.0 apg)
PF - 33 Brandon Costner (6-9, R-Jr., 11.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 bpg)
C - 34 Ben McCauley (6-9, Sr., 15.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 spg)
PG - 10 Brock Young (5-11, Soph., 9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 8.6 apg, 1.9 spg)
SG - 4 Sam Hinnant (6-4, Sr., 17.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg)
G - 2 James Legan (6-3, Sr., 15.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
SF - 21 Jamar Abrams (6-5, Soph., 7.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.6 apg)
C - 33 Chad Wynn (6-10, Soph., 9.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg)
Scouting East Carolina
Location: Greenville, N.C.
2007-08 record: 11-19 overall, 5-12 C-USA
2008 postseason: None
Coach: Mack McCarthy, 18th year overall (328-197), 2nd year at East Carolina (19-20)
The all-time series with NC State: NC State leads 17-1
Last meeting: East Carolina won 75-69 on Dec. 8, 2007 in Greenville, N.C.
East Carolina: Freshman Darrius Morrow, a 6-foot-8, 250-pounder from Atlanta Columbus High, has been a big surprise off the bench for the Pirates. Morrow signed with South Carolina, but was released from his letter of intent following the coaching change with the Gamecocks. Morrow is averaging 10.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, with three double-doubles for points and rebounds. He had season-best's 16 points and 12 rebounds in the 93-90 overtime win over Virginia Commonwealth Eight ECU players are in-state products with three from near the Triangle - Young from Raleigh, Chris Turner from Durham and Greyson Sargent from Wake Forest Young, who attended Broughton High, has three double doubles in points and assists. He scored 18 against Campbell and dished out 12 assists twice against North Carolina Wilmington and North Carolina Greensboro.
NC State: The Wolfpack and Pirates share two common opponents. ECU defeated Winthrop 63-60 on Nov. 29, and UNC Greensboro 97-53 on Dec. 13. NCSU defeated Winthrop 74-48 on Nov. 25 and UNC Greensboro 79-52 on Nov. 30 NC State has won its last 19 games against in-state non-conference opponents at the RBC Center Ferguson has made at least one three-pointer in 11 straight games Fells is expected to play against the Pirates, but is coming off an injury, having a bruise near his ankle Lowe intimated that redshirt junior point guard Farnold Degand's suspension for the Winston-Salem State win, could extend to tonight's game against ECU. He said he "hasn't decided." NC State ranks second in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio (1.3), and is third in rebounding margin in the ACC (plus-8.3).