Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the news and information section for East Carolina University men's and women's sports.
GREENVILLE, N.C. Jayden Gardner
scored a game-high 23 points and Tremont Robinson-White
added 18 to lead East Carolina to a 60-56 victory over Charlotte inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Sunday.
Trailing by seven, 45-38, with 11:35 remaining, ECU (5-7) got four consecutive points from Robinson-White followed by two from Gardner to pull within one in a span of 1:24. However, the 49ers (6-5) refused to surrender the lead and held a four-point cushion with 7:56 remaining.
A minute later, Robinson-White buried a 3-pointer from the corner and Gardner scored in the paint to give the Pirates their first lead of the game with 5:14 remaining.
Four lead changes ensued with Drew Edwards' layup giving Charlotte a 56-55 lead with 91 seconds remaining. Gardner then sank two free throws with 38 seconds left to put ECU ahead to stay.
Gardner made four foul shots in a 20-second span before Robinson-White made 1 of 2 with four seconds remaining to seal the win.
ECU shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half following a 33.3 percent first half shooting performance. It also held Charlotte to 0 of 12 outside the 3-point arc in the second half after the 49ers made 5 of 12 in the opening 20 minutes.
Gardner and Robinson-White made 12 of the Pirates' 19 field goals and were a combined 16 of 27 from the foul line.
Edwards led the 49ers with 12 points.
The Pirates will return to action Saturday, Dec. 28, at home against Eastern Kentucky.
Coach Joe Dooley
"That was a good team win. We played a lot better in the second half and got into a little bit of a rhythm, almost in spite of ourselves at some point down the end with the turnovers. I thought our guys showed some character and some toughness and we had five consecutive stops to wrap things up."
On Jayden Gardner
"He gets it. He'll make some mistakes like we all do, but he wants to win, and I think his game is getting better."
On Tremont Robinson-White
"He showed some glimpses today, some bursts, but he's just not back yet and won't be back for a while. ... He's basically in preseason shape right now and he's just got to keep playing."
On the Pirates' defense
"Some things I said to my guys a month ago, I think we may have gotten frustrated by not getting stops, I think our resolve on the other end if we didn't score is if they didn't score they can't beat us, I thought we did a nice job. I thought we fought the drive a little bit better tonight, and I do think there was some maturity last couple of weeks."
Sophomore Jayden Gardner
On finally taking the lead
"We kept knocking, kept knocking, kept knocking, then we finally got in. It was like down four, cut it to one, back to four, cut it to two, back to four. We finally got over the hump. We got it."
- East Carolina won its third straight game (Campbell, UMES, Charlotte) after enduring a four-game slide. It's the Pirates' first three-game winning streak since December 2017.
- The win snapped a three-game losing streak to Charlotte and gave ECU its first win over the 49ers since Nov. 16, 2015 (W, 88-74).
- The Pirates improved to 5-0 this season when shooting a higher field goal percentage than their opponent and 5-2 when holding their foe under 70 points.
- Jayden Gardner topped the 20-point plateau for the fourth consecutive game and seventh overall this season.
- Sophomore Tremont Robinson-White scored an ECU career-best 18 points. His previous high was 14 in his Pirate debut against James Madison.
- East Carolina used the starting lineup of Tremont Robinson-White, Tyrie Jackson, Brandon Suggs, Jayden Gardner and Edra Luster for the third consecutive game. It is the first time this season that ECU has used the same starting lineup more than twice.