Loading...
BYH: To those who keep the Russia probe going. It is time to stop wasting money and time on this. Nothing has been...

ECU shooting touch erases Cincy's hot start

010619basketball-5.JPG
1 of 2

East Carolina's Shawn Williams celebrates after making a 3-point basket against Cincinnati.

010619basketball-16.JPG
Loading…

By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A seamless 9-0 surge by Cincinnati to begin Saturday’s basketball game looked like the perfect foundation for the heavily favored Bearcats to produce a blowout in Minges Coliseum, but that didn’t deter East Carolina.

ECU’s outside shooting for the rest of the first half and remainder of the game negated the Bearcats’ initial 9-0 run and their size advantage. ECU won 73-71 for its first American Athletic Conference victory of the season and one of its best wins since joining the league in 2014.

First-year Pirate coach Joe Dooley called a timeout when it was 9-0. Sophomore guard K.J. Davis scored five straight points after the timeout, setting the tone for him to finish 3-for-5 from 3-point range and lead shooter Shawn Williams was 4-of-10. Cincy’s team finished 3-of-19 from the outside.

The Pirates, who led by as many as 11 points late in the first half, stayed hot after taking a 16-15 edge with 11:00 until halftime and they were in the lead for 28:14 of the 40 minutes. Cincy led for 9:58.

“I saw we were getting down and I just wanted to provide a spark coming off the bench, both defensively and offensively,” said Davis, who scored a career-high 17 points. “I knew we needed the energy.”

ECU finished 9-of-22 from 3-point range.

The Pirates led 36-27 at halftime and had nearly equal offensive outputs in each half, scoring 37 after intermission.

“(The 9-0 run) was just the beginning and I have a team of guys that they have seen winning, but there is a difference between being on a team that wins and being the reason your team wins,” said 13th-year Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, whose club has been to eight straight NCAA tournaments and ECU hasn’t qualified for the NCAAs since 1993. “Defensively, we were as bad as I don’t even remember. … Our adherence to the defensive game plan was as bad as it has been since I’ve been the coach.”

A surprising element to the upset was that it came one game after the Pirates (8-6, 1-1 AAC) were overwhelmed in the second half at SMU and began their league slate with an 82-54 defeat to the Mustangs.

SMU started the second half of that game on a crushing 17-1 run.

Cincinnati scored the first eight points of the second half on Saturday, cutting the Pirate lead to 36-35.

The Bearcats led three times after halftime, but each time was by one point. The final one was 54-53 with 8:17 remaining, which was followed by the Pirates rallying again and they took a 66-58 advantage after two free throws by Isaac Fleming at the 4:03 mark.

Davis’ 17 points led East Carolina. Jayden Gardner totaled 13 points and 12 rebounds for the sixth double-double of his freshman campaign before fouling out with 6 seconds remaining.

ECU secured a timely signature win in Dooley’s second stint leading the Pirates — he went 57-52 from 1995-99 when ECU was in the Colonial Athletic Association — ahead of a difficult stretch of games upcoming. Three of the next four contests are on the road, beginning with a trip to Memphis on Thursday.

“The thing that we didn’t do at SMU is we knew they would make a run and we didn’t handle it,” Dooley said. “We handled it (versus Cincinnati) and were able to manage things. It also helps when you make some shots and are scoring. That made it a lot easier, because we were able to answer a score or a bad situation with a basket.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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

ECU

January 16, 2019

Things went according to plan for East Carolina basketball in front of an eager and enthusiastic crowd for the first 10 seconds Wednesday night in Minges Coliseum.

Red-hot freshman Jayden Gardner made a basket for the Pirates shortly after tip-off, but Temple reeled off 21 straight points and…

011719basketball-2.JPG

January 16, 2019

Media reports surfaced this week that Maryland offered former East Carolina head football coach Scottie Montgomery its offensive coordinator position, and that a deal is imminent.

The former Pirate coach being hired by Maryland would decrease what ECU owes Montgomery. He was dismissed by the…

111818ECUfootball-4.jpg.jpg.jpg

January 16, 2019

East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston and his family are closing on a house this week and making the full move to Greenville next week.

Houston has made Greenville home basically since he was officially hired from James Madison on Dec. 3 to be the 22nd coach of the Pirates. He has been…

011219football-4.JPG

January 16, 2019

East Carolina football has started its winter workouts with a heavy focus on the weight room under guidance from director of strength and conditioning John Williams Jr., but first-year head coach Mike Houston also has other plans for the Pirates as they continue to stride toward beginning spring…

011219football-5.JPG

January 15, 2019

Shawn Williams was the 2018 American Athletic Conference basketball rookie of the year, and this season he has seen East Carolina teammate and freshman Jayden Gardner firmly put himself in position for a Pirate to potentially win the award for the second straight year.

Gardner’s outstanding…

010619basketball-11.JPG

January 14, 2019

Jayden Gardner continues to thrive as a freshman basketball player for East Carolina, including recently taking over as the American Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, and his praise continued Monday when he was lauded again by the AAC.

Gardner was named the league’s co-freshman of…

010619basketball-10.JPG

January 14, 2019

Ryan Robinson had a family member at the 2014 North Carolina-East Carolina football game, when the Pirates beat UNC 70-41 in front of an ECU record crowd of 51,082 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, and he received rave reviews about that afternoon in Greenville.

As Robinson is entering Week 2 in his role…

092114ECUFootball22-68.jpg

January 14, 2019

College baseball banter picked up Monday morning with the release of the D1baseball.com preseason Top 25 rankings, which had East Carolina at No. 11.

ECU, which was already picked as the preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference and also last week was ranked No. 11 by Perfect Game, was…

100718ECUbaseball-8.jpg.jpg

January 13, 2019

Jayden Gardner’s massive game for the East Carolina basketball team was not enough for the Pirates in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.

The freshman post player posted an incredible double-double of 35 points and 20 rebounds while his team surged to outscore Central Florida 39-38 in the second half,…

010619basketball-12.JPG

January 13, 2019

Jayden Gardner’s free throw routine begins pretty basic. He dribbles a few times, mixed in with a couple of spins of the basketball.

Then he goes off script.

One dribble to the far right is followed by Gardner’s body regrouping to the center, and he rises up to shoot as his feet leave…

010619basketball-10.JPG
291 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»