The road can be an unforgiving place and it has been early this season for East Carolina.
The Pirates have lost three in a row away from the comfortable surroundings of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum and are 1-5 away from home this year.
East Carolina (7-6) will look to reverse that trend Monday with a first-ever visit to McDougald-McLendon Gym to take on N.C. Central (5-6). The Pirates are 3-0 all-time against the Eagles with each previous meeting having taken place in Greenville.
During their current five-game road swing, which culminates Saturday with the Conference USA opener at Memphis, the Pirates have lost three games by a total of 15 points, which includes a pair of final second losses to Costal Carolina and George Washington.
Despite outscoring its opponents by 27 from behind the arc, ECU has been outscored by 20 at the free throw line and has committed 16 more turnovers than its opponents during the last three games. The Pirates also sent their opponents to the free throw line 42 more times than they visited after being whistled for 20 additional fouls compared to its competition.
Senior Jontae Sherrod has averaged 17.7 points since the conclusion of the fall semester and has led the Pirates with 5.3 rebounds per game and 10 total assists.
Sherrod has connected on 48.6 percent (17-of-35) of his field goal attempts and 47.4 percent (9-19) from three-point range during the Pirates' last three games. He dropped in 21 against Coastal Carolina and 19 at George Washington, both team-highs.
Senior Brock Young (11.5 ppg), who missed the Coastal Carolina game due to injury, and junior Darrius Morrow (10.7 ppg) are also averaging double figures on the road trip.
Young led the Pirates with 14 points Wednesday night against Clemson, while Morrow added 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Pirates have won all three meetings in the series against the Eagles by double figures, but have seen their margin of victory decrease each season. Last year, ECU posted a 68-58 victory.
C.J. Wilkerson, the Eagles' leading scorer at 16.7 points per game, had 18 points against East Carolina a year ago. Wilkerson is coming off a 21-point performance against Milligan College on Wednesday.
Nick Chasten posted a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds against Milligan. Chasten leads the Eagles with 7.9 rebounds per game and averaged 10.7 points per game.
Both teams utilize the 3-point shot. ECU ranks third in Conference USA with 7.7 three-pointers per game, while NCCU is sinking an average of 6.5 per game. Both teams shoot over 35 percent from behind the arc.
The game will be the Eagles' first home game of the year against a Division I opponent after playing a high-major road schedule with games at Oklahoma, Miami, Indiana and Michigan.