GREENVILLE — East Carolina opened the 2021-22 basketball season on Tuesday night with a 70-62 win over South Carolina State in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
J.J. Miles had a game-high 18 points for the Pirates. Tristen Newton added 15 points. Arkansas transfer Vance Jackson had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Brandoin Johnson totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Tremont Robinson-White had nine assists.
ECU’s largest lead was 59-46 with 8:45 to go.
Pirates coach Joe Dooley didn’t know if playing in front of a crowd of 3,605 might have been a factor in his team’s struggles against the Bulldogs, who were 1-17 last season.
“We saw things that I hadn’t seen all preseason,” Dooley said. “We’ve got to tighten some things up. I don’t know if we were sped up, excited or a little jittery, but I was not very impressed. especially offensively.”
ECU made 24 of 74 field goal attempts (32.4, percent), six of 27 beyond the arc (22.2 percent) and 16 of 27 from the line (59.3 percent). Each team had 50 rebounds and 13 turnovers.
Guard Cameron Jones led the visitors with 15 points and Antonio Madlock tallied 11.
The Pirates were without guard Wynston Tabbs, a transfer from Boston College.
ECU hosts Canisius on Friday at 7 p.m. The Golden Griffins dropped their season opener, 77-67, at Miami of Florida on Tuesday night.