Basketball PHOTO

The Pirates bench celebrates sophomore guard Tristen Newton as he achieves a career high of 30 points.

East Carolina University men’s basketball (4-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) gained its first win of the Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, South Carolina, against Old Dominion University with a final score of 73-60 (2-3, 0-0 Conference USA) on Nov. 19. 

Men’s basketball suffered its first loss of the season in its first meet-up of the invitational against the University of Oklahoma (4-0,0,0 Big 12 Conference) on Nov. 18. The Pirates were able to redeem themselves the next day with a win of 73-60 against Old Dominion. The game tipped off at 7:30 p.m. with the jump ball won by ODU. East Carolina dominated the court with the first five points on the board two minutes into the game. 

East Carolina then held the lead 11-4, with a layup from junior forward Alanzo Frink. Not long after, ODU followed up with a three-pointer made by sophomore guard Jaylin Hunter. After a series of turnarounds, the Monarchs were able to close the gap in the score with the teams tied at 13. Forward/guard sophomore Brandon Suggs propelled the Pirates back into the lead with a layup made on the fastbreak.

A foul on ECU allowed for ODU to gain one point on the free-throw line from senior forward Austin Trice. Old Dominion was within one point of East Carolina with 11 minutes and 26 seconds left in the first half. ECU then picked up on the defense which led them to put out six more points then close out with a three-pointer from senior guard J.J. Miles.

Another three-pointer from freshman guard RJ Felton put the score at 32-16, Pirates in the lead. Old Dominion fought back with four straight points of its own which led ECU into a 30-second timeout. The game resumed with a free throw made by Suggs. After a wave of two-pointers and more free throws, the first half of the game closed out with a three-pointer from freshman forward Brandon Johnson, which put the score at 41-29, Pirates. 

The second half of the game opened with a three-point jumper from J.J. Miles, ODU then came in with two points of its own swiftly after. From there, both teams exchanged a series of points as ODU slowly crept up to ECU 47-36 as sophomore guard Charles Smith IV came in with a three-pointer. After a couple of two-pointers, the Monarchs trailed six points behind ECU as they looked to gain the lead.

With the score at 50-44, the Pirates pushed ahead with a free throw from Frink. Johnson then came on strong with a series of two-pointers and free throws. Sophomore guard Tristen Newton put four points on the board then wrapped up with a three-pointer with five minutes left in the second half. The score reached 69-55 when Newton put out three more points for the Pirates.

A couple of free throws from junior forward Kalu Ezikpe put ODU at 58 points while ECU stood at 71. The Friday night game ended with a final score of 73-60. 

ECU men’s basketball will play its final game of the invitational Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcasted by ESPNU against Davidson College (2-2, 0-0 NCAA).

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