GREENVILLE, N.C. — Jayden Gardner scored 20 points and East Carolina clamped down on defense after halftime to defeat Radford, 63-50, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Saturday.
The Pirates (3-0) trailed by nine midway through the first half, 19-10, put scored 10 straight points as part of a 28-2 run to take a 28-21 lead with less than two minutes remaining before halftime. Six different players scored during the outburst for the Pirates making 6 of 9 attempts from the field.
Gardner scored seven points during the run and helped ECU build a 31-27 halftime lead.
Brandon Suggs opened the second half scoring ignited a 9-2 spurt which pushed the Pirates out to an 11-point cushion six minutes out of intermission.
Freshman Noah Farrakhan, who came off the bench to score 11 points, buried a 3 to extend the lead to 14 with 11 minutes remaining and ECU never allowed the Highlanders with more than eight points the rest of the way.
The Pirates held Radford (0-4) to just 26.1 percent shooting from the floor (6-of-23) after halftime and didn’t yield a field goal in the final six minutes. The Highlanders finished the game shooting 37.5 percent overall and 18.2 percent outside the 3-point arc (4-of-22).
ECU shot just 41.8 percent (23-of-55) itself, but scored 11 second chance points and converted 14 Radford turnovers into 17 points.
Gardner and redshirt junior Ludgy Debaut each grabbed eight rebounds to help the Pirates out-rebounded the Highlanders by four.