CONWAY. SC — East Carolina built leads and Old Dominion closed gaps, but the Pirates never trailed in a 73-60 win in the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Friday night.
ECU (4-1) jumped out to a 7-0 advantage and had its biggest lead at 34-17 with 4:34 left in the first half. The Monarchs (2-3) pulled within 57-52 with 8:30 to go before a 3-pointer by R.J. Felton sparked a decisive surge.
“We had some good peaks and a few valleys that we have to overcome,” said Pirates coach Joe Dooley, whose team will finish the event at Coastal Carolina’s HTC Center on Sunday against Davidson (2-2), which turned back Penn, 72-60, on Friday. The ECU matchup with the Wildcats will tip off at 7:30 p.m. (TV: ESPNU).
The Pirates shot well, making 25 of 46 field goal attempts for 54.3 percent, including eight of 16 from beyond the arc (50 percent). ECU made 15 of 19 free throws (78.9 percent).
Tristen Newton had all 11 of the Pirates’ points in a flurry that provided a 71-56 lead with 2:11 to go.
“He takes tough shots, but he makes tough shots,” Dooley said of Newton, who had a game-high 18 points to go with six assists.
Brandon Johnson had 16 points and nine rebounds in the win. Brandon Suggs added 10 points. J.J. Miles tallied nine points and Felton scored eight.
ODU was paced by Kalu Ezikpe with 16 points and eight rebounds.
ECU limited the Monarchs to 39.2 field goal shooting (20 of 51).