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Both ECU teams fall on the road

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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)

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The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

It was difficult for East Carolina’s basketball team to keep up with a red-hot shooting UNC Wilmington squad in Wilmington on Tuesday, resulting in the Pirates losing consecutive games for the first time this season.

UNCW won 95-86 thanks to a 52.7 shooting percentage that included the Seahawks making 10-of-24 3-pointers. ECU was 3-for-16 from the outside.

ECU (4-4) faced a 46-35 halftime deficit and never led in the game. ECU’s women also lost at William & Mary on Tuesday night for their first defeat of the season.

The Pirates, who got 30 points and 15 rebounds from Jayden Gardner, still haven’t defeated UNCW in Wilmington since 2008.

“I have to give them credit with the way they shot the ball,” Pirate coach Joe Dooley said during his postgame interview on the Pirate IMG Sports Network. “Their guys stepped up and made shots. The offensive end wasn’t our problem tonight, but we have to make sure that we tighten up our defense when we are playing well offensively.”

UNCW’s lead reached 20-plus points for the first time during the second half when Jeantal Cylla drained his only 3-pointer of the night for a 64-43 Seahawk lead with 12:41 left to play. UNCW (4-4), which led by as many as 24 points, was up by 18 at the 5:46 mark before East Carolina cut away at the deficit and staged a valiant comeback attempt during the final five minutes.

Gardner’s putback made it 88-81 with 1:04 remaining.

“He is going to play the bulk of the minutes and we’re going to go ahead and continue to let him get better and better,” Dooley said of Gardner, a freshman who was 11-of-20 from the field. “I know that he has a bright future and we have to continue to put guys around him, which we will.”

The hosts hit the 40-point mark late in the first half, leading 40-30 with 4:14 until the intermission. Wilmington was 7-of-13 on 3s during the first 20 minutes.

Cylla scored 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Ty Gadsen was 3-of-5 from the 3-point arc, and Kai Toews had 16 points and 10 assists.

Seth LeDay scored 15 off the bench for ECU. Shawn Williams only made one 3-pointer (1-for-3), finishing with 12 points and four fouls.

Women’s game

William & Mary 63, ECU 43

East Carolina’s first loss of the season came against an opponent the Pirates have struggled against in recent years.

Cold shooting cost the Pirates in their setback at William & Mary, which has now defeated ECU (5-1) in three straight seasons.

ECU made 17 field goals and shot 25.0 percent, aiding in the Tribe’s 58-29 advantage in rebounds. Three different Williams & Mary players reached double digits in rebounds, highlighted by a big night of 15 points and 15 boards by Victoria Reynolds.

Reynolds finished 4-of-6 on field goals. She made her only 3-point shot and was 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

ECU scored the first four points of the game on buckets from Raven Johnson and Lashonda Monk, but the hosts responded with an 8-0 run and stayed in the lead the rest of the way. Johnson finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

A 24-point opening quarter guided the Tribe (3-2) to a 32-25 halftime lead.

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