Pirates erase 13 point second half deficit to drop App State

Sports

Freshman Jayden Gardner scored 22 points and Seth LeDay added 18 off the bench, including the go-ahead put-back with 23.8 seconds left that lifted ECU over Appalachian State, 83-81, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum Friday night.

The Pirates (5-4) trailed by 13, 61-48, with less than 12:30 minutes remaining and trailed by eight, 70-62, with six minutes left, but closed within one, 81-80, on Gardner’s made free throw with 1:09 to play.

“It was a good team win for our guys,” ECU Head Coach Joe Dooley said. “You know, we obviously put ourselves in some pretty bad spots being down and didn’t have any timeouts with a lot of time left on the clock, but the guys just sort of dug in.

“Offensive rebounding on free throws saved us and obviously we had some guys make some really big plays including Addison (Hill) at the end with that switch and some defensive series at the end with some stops.”

Gardner grabbed 11 rebounds, including six offensive, for his fourth double-double of the season and third in the last four games. The Pirates out-rebounded App State by six and scored 19 second chance points compared to only eight from the Mountaineers.

Gardner made an ECU freshman record 16 free throws on 19 attempts and the Pirates finished 24-of-33 (.727) at the charity stripe
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Shawn Williams scored 15 points and K.J. Davis added 10 for the Pirates, who held Appalachian State to a season-low four 3-pointers and 20.0 percent shooting outside the arc (4-of-20).

The Mountaineers were shooting 43.0 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 10.7 made 3s per game entering the contest.

App State made 7-of-9 field goal attempts and outscored ECU 15-6 in the first 6:37 of the second half to retake a double-digit lead after building a 10-point first half advantage.

The Mountaineers outscored the Pirates 10-2 over a 3:32 stretch late in the first half for a 37-27 lead. Williams then scored nine of ECU’s final 13 points of the stanza to bring ECU with two, 42-40, at the break.

Ronshad Shabazz scored 25 and Justin Forrest added 24 for Appalachian State (2-5). Tyrell Johnson scored eight points with 13 rebounds.

The Pirates will close out the fall semester Sunday, Dec. 2, against Maryland Eastern Shore. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The following day, Monday, Dec. 3, the first installment of the Joe Dooley Show will commence at Logan’s Roadhouse on Greenville Blvd. in Greenville starting at 6 p.m. Fans are invited to come out to Logan’s Roadhouse and talk Pirate basketball with Coach Dooley and “Voice of the Pirates” Jeff Charles.
 

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