GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Jontae Sherrod scored 21 points and Corvonn Gaines added a career-high 11 points to help East Carolina defeat Campbell 76-63 inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Monday.
The victory propelled the Pirates to a 2-0 start and made coach Jeff Lebo just the second coach in school’s Division I Era (since 1965) to win his first two games. Joe Dooley was the other.
ECU took advantage of its perimeter shooting abilities, connecting on 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) shots from behind the arc. Sherrod sank four triples while Jamar Abrams and Erin Straughn drained three each.
Both teams struggled through a sluggish first half with neither side shooting above 40 percent and combining for 17 turnovers.
The Pirates used a 15-5 run over a 5:41 stretch to turn a three-point deficit to a seven-point advantage, 20-13, with 7:46 left in the first half. Sherrod, Straughn and Wakefield Ellison each made a 3-pointer during the run. Campbell answered with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 22-all.
Straughn and Abrams broke up the run with back-to-back 3s to send the Pirates into halftime with a 29-25 lead.
Abrams continued sinking jumpers at the outset of the second half, pushing the lead to 10 on back-to-back 3s. Campbell (0-2) got within nine with 13:39 to play, but didn’t get any closer.
Sherrod and Darrius Morrow scored the next eight ECU points to extend the lead to 12 before Straughn went on a personal 5-0 spurt to give ECU its largest lead of the night at 17, 60-43, with 6:23 to play.
The Pirates never led by fewer than 12 the final six minutes.
In the second half, ECU connected on 58.3 percent of its field goal attempts (14-24) and finished shooting 49 percent (24-49) for the game. The Camels shot 50 percent (13-36) after halftime and 44.2 percent (23-52) for the game.
Junior Eric Griffin led the Camels with 15 points, while Preston Dodson and Andrew Ryan added 10. All-Atlantic Sun guard Junard Hartley and Lorne Merthie were limited to a combined total of 12 points.
The Pirates return to the hardwood Thursday against N.C. State in the opening round of the Charleston Classic at the Carolina First Center in Charleston, S.C. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.