GREENVILLE — East Carolina used a 19-2 first-half run to defeat Radford, 63-50, on Saturday in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates improved to 3-0 going into a home game Monday at 5 p.m. against UNC-Wilmington (2-1) while the Highlanders fell to 0-4.
ECU trailed 19-10 when Ludgy Debaut started the decisive flurry with a short hook shot off his offensive rebound. The Pirates went ahead to stay when Jayden Gardner dropped a pair of free throws with 3:56 left in the first half for a 22-21 lead.
Gardner paced ECU with 20 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Noah Farrakhan came off the bench for 11 points in 18 minutes. Debaut had eight rebounds as the Pirates had a 34-30 advantage on the boards.
After leading 31-27 at the half, ECU limited the visitors to 26.1 percent shooting from the floor over the last 20 minutes. The Highlanders did not have a double-figure scorer and did not make a field goal over the final 5:55.
“We gave up too many easy baskets early,” said Pirates coach Joe Dooley after securing ECU’s first 3-0 start since the 2013-14 season. “It was a shaky start. After that, we went on a great run. I thought the second half, we tightened it up a little bit.”
The Pirates got eight points from Tremont Robinson-White, seven from Brandon Suggs and six from Tyrie Jackson. Bitimba Baruti had five points and Tristen Newton added two pointsb for ECU, which made 12 of 14 free throws (85.7 percent) and committed just 10 turnovers,