East Carolina Falls to Cincinnati 70-67 in Overtime
ECU were in quite a battle on Sunday with Cincinnati before the Pirates eventually found themselves on the short end of a 70-67 overtime loss in Minges Coliseum.
Keith Williams led all scorers with 17 points among five Bearcats in double-figures including Tre Scott with 14 and 12 boards and Chris Vogt and Jarron Cumberland with 13 points apiece. Mike Adams-Woods added ten points.
Jayden Gardner got off to a slow start with just two points at halftime before eventually scoring 15 for the game to lead the Pirates. J.J. Miles had 12 points and Tristen Newton scored 11 to go along with nine points from Brandon Suggs. With the loss, ECU fell to 10-16 and 4-9 in AAC play.
The Bearcats scored forty points in the paint and with the win, Cincinnati made 50.9 percent of their shots overall while holding ECU to forty percent and improved to 17-8 and 10-3 in AAC play with the win.
“Obviously very disappointed. It was a back and forth game and we had some opportunities to create some separation. We had an eight point lead and they go on a 20-4 run and we look like we’re in a little bit of trouble and we fight back,” said ECU head coach Joe Dooley afterward, “We just had a couple of untimely turnovers and a couple of possessions. They stepped up in overtime, especially Williams, which is what good teams do.”
Jayden Gardner talked about where the Pirates are at this moment in time as a team.
“The only way to view it as a positive is like we’ve been doing all year. We can play with anybody in this league. We’ve just got to build on it and get ready for Memphis,” Jayden Gardner said, “We fought extremely hard tonight but it’s just disappointing. The guys try hard every time we come out on the court. We took some really big charges and got Cumberland out of the game. We did a really good job on Vogt in the second half so we’re just going to keep fighting on both ends of the floor and hopefully we can come out with a W next time.”
The Bearcats got off to a fast 11-2 start highlighted by five quick Chris Vogt points in the paint and four points from Tre Scott.
ECU pulled back within a point with 8:30 to play in the half on a three-pointer from Pig Jackson and a Jayden Gardner jumper and then later in the half as well before Cincinnati took a 30-27 lead into the locker room at intermission. Tre Scott led the Bearcats with 12 first half points.
Cincinnati made 52 percent of their first half shots, most of which came from close range with 24 points in their paint. ECU went 9 of 27 from the field in the first twenty minutes for 33 percent.
Jayden Gardner’s baseline jumper and his subsequent steal and dunk with 14 minutes to play gave ECU a 40-36 lead. The Pirate lead grew to six on two Brandon Suggs free throws and then to eight on a Gardner dunk in transition with 12:29 remaining in the contest.
Jarron Cumberland’s three pointer helped erase the lead with nine minutes to go. The Bearcat lead expanded to eight at 56-48 with five minutes to go.
But J.J. Miles’ three-pointer from the right wing cut the Cincinnati lead to three. Gardner then trimmed the lead to one before Tristen Newton’s basket in the paint and a Miles free throw had the two teams tied with 1:21 to play.
The game remained tied on Zach Harvey’s three pointer for Cincinnati and a J.J. Miles trey with 11.3 seconds on the game clock and the two teams eventually went into overtime.
J.J. Miles three pointer with 50 seconds in overtime cut a four point Cincinnati overtime lead to one. One Mike Adams-Woods free throw expanded the Bearcat lead to two and with 4.4 seconds to play Jayden Gardner lost the handle of the basketball while attempting to drive to the rim.
Gardner loses the handle while driving to the rim with just 4.7 sec. to play and ECU down by two points. Then the Pirates fouled Keith Williams who made one free throw and Gardner's last second shot attempt fell short from three-point range and ECU falls 70-67.