Following a historic performance on Sunday afternoon, East Carolina University freshman forward Jayden Gardner was named the American Athletic Conference Freshman-of-the-week on Monday.
Gardner scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double in the Pirates' 84-78 overtime win against Lamar University on Sunday. He finished 9-of-10 from the field and 12-of-14 at the foul line, playing 37 minutes.
Gardner became just the third freshman in school history to score 30 points in a game. The other two were Steve Richardson (36 vs. Navy, 2/3/90) and fellow teammate sophomore guard Shawn Williams. Richardson scored a freshman school record with 36 points in 1990, while Williams scored 30 last season against Memphis (30 vs. Memphis, 2/3/18).
Gardner scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds in his debut against Delaware State on Tuesday. Gardner added another six points and secured five rebounds against James Madison University on Friday.
In the three games combined, Gardner averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 26.0 minutes per game. Gardner connected on 45.5 percent of his field goal attempts (10-of-22) and 78.6 percent of his free throws (22-of-28), despite the Pirates struggling on free throw shooting through the first three games as a team (65.2 percent).
He is the fifth different ECU freshman to be recognized by the American with the weekly honor, joining Williams and former Pirates Jeremy Sheppard, Kentrell Barkley and B.J. Tyson.