GREENVILLE — East Carolina got its 2016-17 basketball season started on Friday night with a 72-57 win over Grambling in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Pirate senior Caleb White scored 20 points, hitting six of eight field goal attempts, including two of three behind the arc and six of seven free throws.
Sophomore Kentrell Barkley added 14 points. Junior B.J. Tyson had 12 points and eight assists.
Transfer post players Andre Washington and Jabari Craig gave ECU a heightened presence inside. Washington had eight points, five rebounds and blocked three shots. Craig had six points and nine rebounds.
“I thought we were dialed in for 40 minutes, defensively,” said coach Jeff Lebo, who improved to 100-100 with the Pirates at the outset of his seventh season with the program. “Everybody who played, contributed.”
Clarence Williams had eight points as Michel Nzege was out with a knee injury.
Marcell Thompson had 15 points for the Tigers and Ervin Mitchell added 14. The visitors had an early 9-6 lead.
ECU led 38-28 at the half in winning its second straight season opener against Grambling. The Pirates topped the Tigers, 61-53, last year.
ECU plays at home again on Monday night against North Carolina A&T, which also started its season on Friday night, topping Division III Greensboro College, 67-50 as James Whitaker had 12 points and 15 rebounds.