Freshman Jayden Gardner grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight of his 30 points in overtime to lift East Carolina over Lamar 84-78 on Sunday in the first meeting of the teams.
Seth LeDay scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Tyler Foster, Tae Hardy and K.J. Davis added 10 points apiece for the Pirates (2-1).
LeDay’s dunk and Gardner’s free throws put ECU up 75-71 in OT, but Lamar led 78-77 on Edwin Jeudy’s 3-pointer with 1:45 to play. Gardner’s layup gave ECU an 80-78 lead with 1:23 left and he and LeDay combined for four free throws down the stretch while Lamar missed two 3-pointers.
The Cardinals led 35-29 at halftime. Gardner’s tip-in at the buzzer tied it at 71 at the end of regulation.
Mike Kolawole scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Lamar (1-2). Josh Nzeakor and V.J. Holmes scored 15 points apiece, T.J. Atwood added 13 and Nick Garth had 12.