Following a three-game losing streak, the East Carolina University (10-14, 4-7 AAC) men’s basketball team bounced back on the road against Tulane University (10-13, 2-9 AAC). The Pirates completed the regular season series sweep against the Green Wave to tie their win total from a season ago.
This was a much-needed win for the Pirates after struggling in a few of their previous games. After leading for almost the entire contest on Saturday, the game finished with a final score of 81-67.
You can Paint This One Purple! pic.twitter.com/1ahlqGTxsD— ECU Men’s Basketball (@ecubasketball) February 9, 2020
“I thought we were good with the ball. We had 18 assists on 29 field goals,” head coach Joe Dooley said according to ECUPirates.com. “I thought the only negative thing was that we turned it over too much.”
The first half of the game was a tight battle, but the Pirates were able to hold control of the scoreboard. ECU hit a majority of its shots in the first half, shooting 59.1% from the field. They hit a pair of three-pointers and made 9-of-12 shots from the free throw line as well. The Green Wave on the other hand had five three-point baskets in the half to keep up with the Pirates’ hot shooting. The first half ended with ECU having the three-point lead against Tulane 37-34.
East Carolina came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders and went on to lead 48-38 within minutes of the second half beginning. The lead never changed again as the Pirates took control of the game. Despite some effort from the GreenWave, the hot shooting managed to continue for the Pirates.
They shot 48.5% from the field and went 11-of-12 from the free throw line. The scoring came in bunches for the Pirates with four players scoring in double figures.
ECU sophomore forward Jayden Gardner put up 20 points and eight rebounds. He made a high percentage of his shots, going 10-for-17 from the field.
Freshman guard Tristen Newton dropped 18 points and grabbed nine boards. Junior guard Tyrie Jackson and freshman guard Brandon Suggs both had 11 points. Junior guard Batumba Baruti added nine points and grabbed nine rebounds as well.
Tulane had two players score over 20 points, and they were also the only players to score in double figures for their team. Graduate guard Christion Thompson dropped 23 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard K.J. Lawson put up 20 points and hit four shots from beyond the three-point line.
"We are better than we were a month ago,” Dooley said according to ECUPirates.com. “Sometimes it doesn't always show, but we're becoming a better team and the young guys are getting a lot of minutes. Hopefully that will help us in the future."
The Pirates shot well from the field, shooting 52.7% for the game. They also made the most of their chances at the free throw line, making 20-of-24 attempts.
A hot shooting game like this was much needed for the Pirates after their previous losses, and they look to ride the momentum into their next contest. ECU will travel to Oklahoma to play the University of Tulsa (15-7, 7-2 AAC) on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.