ECU Shows Improvement in 79-67 Home Win Over Campbell
ECU entered Saturday’s game in need of a victory after losing six of their last seven games and they got it in a 79-67 win over Campbell in Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates got 22 points from Jayden Gardner to go along with 16 points and nine rebounds from Brandon Suggs who collectively wore out the foul line going 21 for 23 for the game. Tristen Newton came off the bench to add eleven points and eight boards and J.J. Miles returned to action, scoring 12 points in the victory.
Collectively, the Pirates got to the stripe early and often and hit 26 of their 29 attempts to go along with 47 percent shooting from the floor overall.
ECU held Campbell to just 39 percent from the floor. That all helped to make up for 17 turnovers.
“We moved the ball and I thought we turned it over way too much and in the first half after we did a good job of turning them over in transition, then we turned it over three straight possessions which got them back in it. Then at the end of the half we took a couple of bad shots where the ball got stuck,” ECU head coach Joe Dooley told PirateIllustrated.com, “Besides that I thought for the most part we tried to move the ball."
Dooley was relieved to get back on a winning track against a Campbell team that entered the game at 6-2. With the win, ECU improved to 3-7 while the Camels dipped to 6-3 with the road loss.
“I’m more relieved than happy which is sad, but never take winning for granted,” said Dooley, “Hopefully we can keep building and hopefully some of these guys will continue to figure some things out and we need to."
“I thought we got off to a much better start and our defensive recognition and attention to detail was better with the exception of a number of turnovers but a lot of that is attributed to the way Campbell soft presses,” Dooley said, “We did some good things but for the amount of times we turned the ball over. We thought we had a good game plan against it but we sort of froze a little bit and didn’t attack as much. We’ll continue to work on that.”
“The young guys Tristen (Newton) and Brandon (Suggs) really gave us big efforts and played really well and played with a lot of poise. J.J. Miles played really well. He had two really good post moves and the pull up was a really big shot. It’s good to have him back. Jayden did it on six shots and a bunch of free throws.”
It was clearly evident that Gardner felt a great deal of relief from getting a much needed win on Saturday.
“It’s exciting. I like being a winner. It’s nice to get back in the W column tonight,” said Gardner who talked about the positive affect of the team making 26 free throws,
“It’s huge. We’ve been working on free throws every day so everybody stepped up from the free throw line."
“It feels good because we had a good week of practice,” said Suggs, “I feel like all the work we did in practice, it showed today."
The Pirates got off to a relatively fast start, leading 15-4 some nine and a half minutes into the contest. Jayden Gardner’s baseline jumper, Tristen Newton’s three-pointer and a three-point play in the paint from Charles Coleman expanded the ECU lead to 25-9.
Four late Campbell baskets and six treys in the first twenty minutes trimmed the ECU lead to eight at 38-30 at halftime on 12 first half points from Jayden Gardner.
ECU made 48 percent of their shots and went 14 for 14 from the charity stripe in the period including 8 for 8 from Gardner.
Henderson’s seven points and six points each from McCullough and Whitfield led Campbell in the first period.
Campbell closed to within five points with fifteen minutes to go before a Tyree Jackson three-pointer, two Gardner free throws and a Tristen Newton steal and score extended the ECU lead back to twelve.
The Camels did cut the Pirate lead to as little as nine late in the game on a pair of Henderson free throws and a Whitfield jumper before the Pirates pulled away for good.
ECU returns to the floor at Minges Coliseum Tuesday night when Maryland-Eastern Shore comes to town. Tipoff is set for 7 o’clock.