GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP)Jayden Gardner scored 25 points with 14 rebounds and Tyrie Jackson scored 16 on four 3-pointers and East Carolina beat Eastern Kentucky 82-74 on Saturday.
Tremont Robinson-White scored 16 and Bitumba Baruti grabbed 10 rebounds.
Eastern Kentucky started with a 15-5 lead when Ty Taylor scored nine. The Colonels led 39-32 at halftime before East Carolina (6-7) erupted to start the second half with a 21-8 run and led 53-47 with 12:51 left. Robinson-White made 1-of-2 shots from the foul line for a 48-47 advantage; the first lead for the Pirates since 2-1.
Gardner put in a layup off his own miss and the Pirates extended it to 60-51. The Colonels used a 12-5 spurt and closed to 65-63 on a 3 from Taylor but couldn’t get closer. The Pirates reeled off nine straight to take control.
Jomaru Brown scored 25 for EKU, Tre King 18 with 12 boards, Taylor 12 and Michael Moreno 11.
Eastern Kentucky (3-10) begins Ohio Valley Conference play on Thursday when it hosts Tennessee Tech.
East Carolina starts American Athletic Conference action at Wichita State on New Year’s Day.
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