GREENVILLE — Freshman Jayden Gardner scored 28 points and claimed 17 rebounds to lead East Carolina to a 76-64 win over Prairie View A&M in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Wednesday night .
Gardner made 11 of 14 field goal attempts and eight of nine free throws.
Shawn Williams returned from a suspension for violation of team rules with 18 points and four assists in his first game of the season as the Pirates improved to 4-2 in Joe Dooley’s return as coach.
Seth LeDay contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in ECU’s second straight win.
The nonconference contest was tied at 33 when the Pirates went on a 12-2 run, The Panthers answered with an 9-0 spree to pull within 45-44.
Gardner hit a jumper that started an 8-2 run as ECU extended its lead to 65-54.
K.J. Davis finished with nine points and nine rebounds for the Pirates.
Prairie View got 16 points from Devonte Patterson in falling to 1-5 and Gary Blackston added 11 in the losing effort.
ECU made 16 of 26 field goal attempts in the second half, 61.5 percent.
The Pirates host High Point (2-3) on Saturday at 5 p.m.