Pirates open with 80-68 win over VMI

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Jayden Gardner scored 28 points as East Carolina topped VMI 80-68 in a season opener on Tuesday night.

VMI led 45-44 when Kamdyn Curfman hit a 3-pointer with 16:22 remaining but Gardner scored the next seven points for East Carolina and the Pirates led the rest of the way.

Tristen Newton added 20 points for the Pirates and Brandon Suggs scored 12.

Greg Parham scored a career-high 23 points for the Keydets. Jake Stephens added 10 points.

East Carolina faces Navy on the road on Friday. VMI plays Marist at home on Friday.

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