East Carolina Falls 62-57 to Navy In Veterans Classic
Winning road games has not exactly been ECU’s forte over the years and much of the culprit has been tough road shooting nights and too many turnovers.
Friday night was no different as the Pirates hit just 11 of 26 from the floor in the second half including just 1 for 8 from the arc in a 62-57 loss at Navy in the Veterans Classic.
It was the first game between the two schools since February of 1991 with ECU winning the prior six straight meetings.
The Midshipmen placed four players in double-figures, led by 14 points and 10 rebounds from Cam Davis. John Carter and Greg Summers scored 13 each and Luke Loehr added 11.
ECU(1-1) made just 40.7 percent from the floor overall and went just 8 for 13 from the stripe. To make matters worse, the Pirates connected on just 5 of 18 shots from the arc overall.. Navy(1-1) didn’t do much better at 45.2 percent from the field and and just 18 of 26 from the foul line, but it was just enough under the circumstances to pick up the win.
Both Navy and East Carolina pulled down 31 rebounds apiece.
“We had some good stretches and then we had that stretch the last part of the game. They took the lead at the ten minute mark on a middle drive and we had a big miss by J.J. Miles. We had some good stretches and we had some wasted possessions where we didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” said ECU head coach Joe Dooley.
“I thought that the story of the game was them driving the ball. They doubled us in free throw attempts 20 to 13 and some were bone headed fouls. The other thing was the turnovers,” Dooley said, “I think we had six or seven charges. The first thing we put on our offensive board was come to a stop and that probably took six points off the board. Those are all important possessions.”
Jayden Gardner did manage to score 15 points along with eight rebounds to lead ECU and Seth LeDay came on to score 11 to go along with 10 points from junior guard J.J. Miles, but the ECU guards combined for just 4 of 16 from the arc.
“Both freshmen point guards looked like freshmen tonight,” said Dooley, “A little out of sync on the road they turned it over. That’s not a good night and two for ten from them. We need to make sure they get some confidence, but we also need to make sure they get us into the offense and that they guard.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Jayden Gardner was held out of the first four and a half minutes of the contest after experiencing some leg issues late in the game against VMI and missing some practice during the week heading into Friday’s game.
Four points from Gardner, five from Brandon Suggs and a Seth LeDay dunk gave ECU as much as a 19-11 cushion with nine minutes to go in the first half. But three three straight Navy baskets including a long three-pointer from John Carter got the Midshipmen right back in the game at 19-18.
J.J. Miles then briefly heated up with a pair of jumpers to put ECU up 24-18 before Luke Loehr and Cam Davis got in the act for Navy to cut the lead back to one at 24-23. Miles’ runner in the lane and Gardner’s three-point play in the paint extended the ECU lead back to six at 29-23 at halftime. The pair led the Pirates offensively with seven points each at the break.
Navy then cut the ECU lead to one at 38-37 on five straight John Carter points before two Luke Loehr free throws gave Navy their first lead since early in the game at 41-40. The Pirates recaptured the lead on a J.J. Miles trey with seven minutes to play followed by a Seth LeDay breakaway dunk.
Two Greg Summers free throws had Navy up 50-47 before Suggs scored on a breakaway layup to cut the lead back to one. Two Navy made baskets and a pair of Gardner free throws found Navy up by three point with a minute and a half to play.
Summers and Newton traded baskets for Navy and ECU and Curtis hit one of two from the stripe to help Navy maintain a four point 57-53 lead with just a minute to go. Then Jayden Gardner connected in the paint for ECU to trim the Navy lead to two with 33 seconds remaining.
Summers hit one of two from the stripe with thirty seconds left for a 58-55 lead before Seth Leday’s running drive cut the Navy lead back to one at 58-57. ECU fouled early in the full court press on the inbounds pass with 14 seconds remaining and Cam Davis nailed a pair of free throws to put Navy up front 60-57.
Gardner’s drive to the rim for ECU with four seconds to play missed and Navy got the rebound and was fouled where Summers then connected a pair of free throws to seal the 62-57 win.