Pirates bounce back from first loss, beat JMU at home

ECU Pirates

Brandon Suggs (ECU Sports Information photo)

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GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina completed its non-conference slate unbeaten with a 73-64 win over James Madison inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, ending a three-game losing streak to the Dukes.

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The Pirates (6-1) had four players score in double figures led by sophomore Brandon Suggs with a career-matching high of 18 points. Senior forward Bitumba Baruti added 16 points off the bench and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and collected a career-best five steals. Tristen Newton made four 3s en route to 14 points, while the Pirates’ leading scorer Jayden Gardner added 13 points.

Gardner broke a 10-all tie with a layup and ECU led for the final 33:06, trailing for just a total of 48 seconds the entire game.

After Coach Dooley called timeout with 5:45 left in the first half, the Pirates went on an 11-2 run to take its first double-digit lead of the game, 33-22, with 1:32 remaining in the first half. The Pirates led by eight, 33-25, at halftime.

Newton gave the Pirates a 16-point cushion, 59-43, with 7:21 to play and never led by less than 10 until the game’s final minute.

Matt Lewis led the Dukes (2-2) with 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 at the foul line. Justin Amadi added 10 points.

ECU lifts the lid on its American Athletic Conference home season Tuesday, Dec. 22, against Tulane at 3:30 p.m.

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