Jayden Gardner against Tulsa - 2019/2020

Jayden Gardner during ECU's matchup with the University of Tulsa earlier in the season.

Following a dominant victory against Tulane University (10-13, 2-9 AAC), the East Carolina University (10-14, 4-7 AAC) men’s basketball team will look to bring that momentum into tomorrow’s contest. The Pirates will travel to Oklahoma to face the University of Tulsa (15-8, 7-3 AAC) for their second meeting of the season.

“We went 2-of-26 from three, they went 3-of-14, so it was a bad shooting night for both teams,” head coach Joe Dooley said. “I do think it gave us a bit of an idea, and we have been able to work on things.”

Earlier this season, the Golden Hurricane defeated the Pirates 65-49. The struggle from beyond the three-point arc was contagious for ECU. Scoring seemed difficult for the Pirates against Tulsa in their last game. There was only one player for the Pirates to score in double figures, and he is on his way to reaching a large milestone in his career.

ECU sophomore forward, Jayden Gardner, has been the biggest light this season through his scoring and rebounding. He is leading the team in both categories averaging 20.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game on the season. Gardner is only two points away from reaching 1,000 career points, and after facing Tulsa, he will reach a mark that few have reached in their careers.

“He’s a great player. He comes in the gym all the time, he’s working all the time,” freshman guard Tristen Newton said. “It just shows how much work he has put in.”

Newton put up great numbers in his previous performance against Tulane. He scored 18 points, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. He also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds for his team.

Tulsa’s senior forward, Martins Igbanu has exploded in the past two games offensively, averaging 29.5 points, despite both games ending as losses. He scored 29 points in a double-digit loss to the University of Connecticut (13-10, 4-5 AAC), and 30 points in a loss to the University of Central Florida (13-10, 4-7 AAC).

In the past, Tulsa has dominated ECU. The Pirates are facing a losing record of 3-20 against the Golden Hurricane, with the last ECU victory coming from the 2016-17 season. After losing six games in a row to this opponent, the Pirates are ready to change that narrative as they head to Oklahoma.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

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