Gardner's huge game not enough for ECU
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, 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, but it was not enough in a 76-65 loss to the Knights.
Gardner went 12-for-21 from the floor for ECU (8-8, 1-3 American Athletic Conference) and pulled down 13 boards on the defensive end and seven on offense. But it was not enough to offset the wire-to-wire-win for the Knights (13-2, 3-0), who got 18 points from junior Aubrey Dawkins, 14 from BJ Taylor, 12 from sophomore Collin Smith and 10 from towering senior Tacko Fall, who grabbed seven rebounds along with eight each from Smith, Terrell Allen and Chad Brown. Allen and Brown also added nine points each in the UCF victory.
The Knights built their first 10-point lead of the day, 16-6, with 14:03 to play in the first half, including three early baskets by Fall. By that point in the game, all five UCF starters had registered a point, while Gardner was ECU’s only scoring starter in that span.
Despite a late surge by ECU, the Knights never trailed in the game.
Sean Williams added 12 points for ECU, which hosts Temple on Wednesday night.