Coming back to Minges Coliseum after a four game road trip East Carolina (4-3) wasted no time getting on the board. The Pirates started the game on an 18-3 run and its lead continued to grow and led by 18 at the end of the first half. That proved to be enough for the ECU and won 74-48.
BJ Tyson led all scorers with (score) and was an efficient seven for nine from the field. He also had nine rebounds in the game, which is a career high. But the dominate Pirates defense in the first half helped to give ECU the early advantage. Florida Atlantic only shot 20 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting 35.8 percent.
“I was really proud of my team,” said head coach Jeff Lebo. “Coming off a long road trip, coming from the west coast, I thought we looked fresh, I thought we played with energy and I thought we played with enthusiasm.”
Scoring a career high four points in the game against Stetson, sophomore Grant Bryant tripled that total and finished with 12 points. Bryant and others off the bench benefited from ECU’s early lead and got extended minutes on the court. Junior guard Charles Foster also eclipsed his career high with five points.
“I’m proud of him,” said Tyson on Bryant. “I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for the longest. Nobody sees it but behind closed doors this man is fighting and working his tail off in practice and I’m glad he got the opportunity to show that he can fight, he can play, he can execute and he can rebound.”
Florida Atlantic (1-5) could not overcome its offensive shortcomings in the first half and defensively were not much better. Solomon Poole connected on four of his six shots in the second half and led the Owls with 11 points.
Defensively, especially in that first half, I thought we were really solid with our zone,” said Lebo. “Got great play tonight without Michel [Nzege] not playing with an ankle injury. Grant Bryant did a great job for us. A guy that’s really worked hard. Didn’t play a lot last year, and hasn’t played much this year. His attitude has been good, and he’s worked hard. And he was rewarded for that tonight.”
Junior Caleb White was the third Pirate to score in double figures with 10 points. As a team, 10 ECU players got on the board. ECU shot 54.2 percent from the field and 38.5 from beyond the arc.