Isaac Fleming

Senior guard Isaac Fleming jumping as he shoots the ball.

The East Carolina University men’s basketball team started out its season with a win on Tuesday, beating Delaware State 81-56, and the team will now turn its attention to James Madison University who the Pirates will host tomorrow at 7:45 p.m. in Minges Coliseum.

The Pirates played well in their season opener under returning head coach Joe Dooley, holding Delaware State to 33.3 percent shooting while forcing 12 turnovers including eight steals. The Pirates also came alive on offense, shooting the ball at 54.3 percent in the final 25 minutes, going 19-for-35 from the floor. Head coach Joe Dooley is proud of his team, but knows it is a long season, and they must get ready for the next game.

“We’ll go back and watch the tape from tonight (Tuesday night) and get ready for James Madison,” Dooley said after the game. “We’ve got a win under our belt, and we’ve got some things we can get better at, but you tell the guys that’s one and it’s passed now let’s move on and try to get the next one.”

The Pirates will now turn their attention to the Dukes of James Madison, who like the Pirates are coming off a convincing win to start their season, as they beat Eastern Mennonite University 86-58 in their season opener.

The Pirates will need to continue their defensive efforts again tomorrow if they want to contain the Dukes, who shot 48.6 percent from the field in their opening game. The Pirates will need to look out for sophomore guard Darius Banks, who exploded for 22 points along with nine rebounds and five assists in the season opener.

While the Pirates and the Dukes had similar outcomes in their season openers, the teams played very different styles of ball in their respective games. The Pirates played deep in their opener, with seven players scoring eight or more points, and with 41 of the team’s points coming from the bench. In contrast, the Dukes saw 68 of the team’s 86 points come from the starting five, with very little involvement from the bench.

They also played differently offensively in their first games, as the Pirates shot an incredible 53.3 percent from beyond the three-point line, going 8-for-15, while only shooting 42.6 percent from inside the line. The Dukes were not hot from beyond the three-point line, shooting 7-for-25 for an abysmal 28 percent, but shot much better from the paint and inside the perimeter, going 35-for-72 at 48.6 percent shooting.

The Pirates will tip off at 7:45 p.m. as they look to continue their early season success as they take on James Madison.

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