Greenville, NC – After a two-game road swing, the Pirates return home Sunday, Feb. 16, to host Cincinnati in its fifth-annual Autism Awareness game at 12 noon inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive t-shirts sponsored by Aces for Autism, Pirate Club and ECU Athletics. In addition, the team will debut its white Adidas jerseys with the Autism Speaks puzzle piece symbol.
ECU will also unveil a sensory inclusive room in Minges Coliseum to provide a space for attendees who are experiencing sensory overload a place to calm so they may successfully return to the game.
“This is an exciting project and a major addition to our fan experience as we ensure that everyone attending ECU athletics events feel included, supported and welcome,” ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “We are committed to making sure every guest or fan that visits our athletic venues has a comfortable and calming experience.”
Experience is something that Cincinnati has relied on heavily this season. Seniors Tre Scott, Jarron Cumberland, Chris Vogt and Jaevin Cumberland have combined to account for 63 percent of the team’s scoring in 2019-20, including 76 percent of all points over its last five games.
Jarron Cumberland is fifth in The American in scoring with 15.1 points per game, while his cousin Jaevin leads the conference with 2.3 3s per game. Scott ranks second in the league in rebounding (9.9 rpg) and Vogt ranks first in field goal percentage (.674).
Scott at 16 points and 11 rebounds versus ECU earlier this year.
The Bearcats have given up only 63.8 points per game to conference opponents thus far, an improvement from the 69.2 per game they allowed over 12 non-conference games.
ECU scored just 57 points in the first meeting of the season between the two last month.
The Pirates have won two of the last four games against Cincinnati in Greenville, including a 73-71 victory last season. Jayden Gardner had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the game, including a tip-in with 20.6 seconds remaining for a six-point lead.
Gardner leads The American in scoring with 20.2 points per game and ranks third in rebounding at 9.7 rebounds per game.
Cincinnati held Gardner well below his average in the first meeting, only allowing him 13 points on 5 of 13 shooting. Freshman Brandon Suggs was the Pirates’ top scorer in the initial meeting of the season, dropping in 16 points.
Gardner, Suggs and freshman Tristen Newton have combined to score 57 percent of the Pirates’ points in 2019-20, Joined by four additional underclassmen, ECU freshmen and sophomore have accounted for more than 72 percent of the offense this season.
Newton has scored double figures in five of the last seven and Suggs in four of the last eight.
ECU junior JJ Miles is coming off a 21-point performance at Tulsa on Wednesday and is shooting over 35 percent from 3 in conference play.