An inefficient first half kept East Carolina from pulling away in the first half. Then a second half 20-5 run gave ECU a 12 point lead and help the Pirates seal a 71-60 victory at Minges Coliseum.
In the first half, ECU could not get anything going offensively. Sophomore guard BJ Tyson bailed out the Pirates scoring 15 in the half, all in a span of five minutes. Tyson hit his first shot of the game with 6:39 remaining in the first half, then a three pointer with 1:12 remaining gave Tyson 15. Tyson only had six points in the second half, but his team finally gave him some help. He finished with a team high 21 points.
Senior forward Caleb White was scoreless in the first half, but made his first shoot of the second half. White finished with 10 points and was one of four Pirates in double figures scoring. Guard Charles Foster was the unexpected scorer of that bunch, scoring 13 points, which is his best scoring output at ECU. Foster was efficient shooting the ball, converting five of his seven shots.
“He did a good job defensively, that’s why he got a chance to play a little bit more,” said Lebo. I thought he did a good job on [Sam] Hunt in the zone. We wanted to try and keep them off the foul line. In the zone, you give up shots in it. But it keeps people off the foul line.”
The Pirates were able to keep North Carolina A&T off the foul line as the Aggies on shot 17 free throws. In its previous game, the Aggies shot over 40 attempts. Other than starting forward Bruce Beckford, who scored a game high 22 points, no other Aggie reached double figures.
Freshman Kentrell Barkley also scored in double figures for the Pirates, but it was other parts of his game that contributed to the Pirates win. Barkley had a team high seven rebounds and a team high six assists to go along with his 11 points.
“When he steps on the floor he exudes confidence and toughness,” said Lebo “I wish I could inject that confidence and toughness into the rest of my guys. But I love when he comes off the bench and what he’s been doing and what he provides. He’s like a senior out there.”