Bless our hearts as Edmund Burke quoted: The only thing necessary for the triump of evil is for good men(and women) to...

Pirates outlast Cardinals in OT


East Carolina's head coach Joe Dooley, right, talks to Jayden Gardner during their game against James Madison on Nov. 9, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A basketball team struggling mightily to make free throws still hit their biggest ones of the night on Sunday.

East Carolina forged an unlikely tie as regulation expired against Lamar, then delivered near-perfect accuracy from the line in OT to seal an 84-78 triumph over the visiting Cardinals in Minges Coliseum.

Two days after the Pirates (2-1) lost to James Madison on a buzzer beater, ECU’s Seth LeDay saved his team by tipping home an offensive rebound as time expired to force OT at 71-71. It was LeDay’s basket that briefly gave his team the lead with 8 seconds left against JMU.

But on Sunday, it was the Pirates who surged for the last laugh. 

After LeDay’s dunk to open the extra period, the previously hapless Pirates hit 7-of-8 from the line to close out the game.

“We were down 10 with 6 and a half (minutes) left and guys have to make a decision. Are they going to keep playing or are they going to get beat?” ECU head coach Joe Dooley said. “They made a decision that they wanted to win.”

Freshman Jayden Gardner erupted for 30 points, becoming the third ECU freshman to do so in a game, and he defied his team’s struggles by hitting 12-of-14 from the stripe. He also has 10 rebounds.

His versatile post game included an array of cuts inside to draw contact and reverse lay-ins.

“The first two games I was struggling, and it really felt surreal to see everything starting to work out — shots started fall and my teammates kept trusting me and getting me the ball,” Gardner said. “We just executed. This team had a lot of heart.”

LeDay finished another strong game with 16 points and nine boards, followed by 12 from Tyler Foster and 10 each from K.J. Davis and Tae Hardy.

Lamar (1-2) was led in defeat by five double-digit scorers: Josh Nzeakor and V.J. Holmes with 15 points each, T.J. Atwood (13), Mike Kolawole (12 and 12 rebounds) and Nick Garth (12).

“Jayden was spectacular. He was poised, he didn’t try to rush anything he didn’t have,” Dooley said of Gardner. “He sort of pivoted around. Some of our offensive possessions looked like disasters ... but he did a good job of working the post and I thought Seth was terrific. He helped us handling the ball when we were a little bit shaky and made some really big-time plays.”

The Cardinals built their second 10-point lead of the game, 54-44, with 10:30 to play in the game and did it again with 6:29 left before the ECU rally began in earnest. The Cardinals got penetration and scoring all night from the trio of Kolawole, Nzeakor and Atwood.

For the second time in three days, the Pirates struggled in the first half and trailed at the break, 35-29, including the Cardinals temporarily building their lead to 10 points for the first time, 31-21, with 5:51 left before halftime.

ECU took a brief 19-18 lead on a five-point swing by Foster, who canned a 3 and then connected on two free throws to put his team up by a point, but Lamar exploded for a 13-2 after that and rode into the intermission with a comfortable edge.

Foster had eight in the half for the Pirates, while Gardner led the way with nine points and five rebounds.

ECU lackluster production from the line continued, with the Pirates going 4-for-8 and shooting just 39 percent from the floor in the opening 20 in a lackadaisical performance.

Josh Nzeakor, meanwhile, had nine points to lead the Cardinals.

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


July 18, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — In the lead spot to start at quarterback for American Athletic Conference preseason favorite UCF is senior Notre Dame transfer Brandon Winbush.

Veteran QBs at Memphis (Brady White) and South Florida (Blake Barnett) both were at Arizona State earlier in their careers. Barnett,…


July 18, 2019


East Carolina was picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference football East Division for the second straight year in the league preseason poll, but more important than the poll’s release Tuesday during AAC media days was the confident and persistent presence of ECU…


July 17, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Coach Mike Houston remains optimistic yet not in position to announce whether or not Traveon Freshwater will be on East Carolina football’s roster for this season.

The former Elizabeth City Northeastern High School star running back and linebacker signed with ECU in…


July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Mike Houston has been in this position before, bracing to prove doubters wrong.

It began with his first head coaching job in 2001 at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, when his team was picked in the preseason eighth out of nine teams but thrived during the season to take…

IMG_2422 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Standing in front of American Athletic Conference “Power Six” logos on Tuesday, conference commissioner Mike Aresco was persistent that he thinks the American is strong enough to not immediately replace Connecticut when the Huskies leave for the Big East.


IMG_2415 (1).jpg

July 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert found time to put on a swimsuit by mid-afternoon Monday, and ECU football coach Mike Houston sneaked in advice to Pirate receiver Deondre Farrier on the proper cracker-to-oyster ratio when Houston was between interviews at American…

IMG_2404 2 6.18.29 PM.jpg

July 15, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — East Carolina is at American Athletic Conference football media days, equipped with first-year coach Mike Houston, first-year athletics director Jon Gilbert and senior receiver Deondre Farrier in his first visit to Newport.

Aside from veteran media relations director Tom…

IMG_2388 2 (1).jpg

July 15, 2019

A trio of first-year American Athletic Conference football coaches, including East Carolina's Mike Houston, heads to Newport, R.I., today for a first taste of seafood, interviews and more at AAC media days.

The other two newcomers are Temple's Rod Carey and Dana Holgorsen after his offseason…


July 14, 2019

The Minges Coliseum court is in under renovation as East Carolina’s basketball coaches also are working to reconstruct their teams that will play this year on a new-look Minges paint scheme.

Fresh from checking out a recent workout of men’s coach Joe Dooley’s squad, which this…


July 13, 2019

Many East Carolina football fans know what Holton Ahlers will be doing in August and the ensuing months as the Pirates’ sophomore projected starting quarterback.

Others fans might have noticed the Greenville native was an ardent ECU baseball fan in June, but in July, he and other Pirate…

193 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»