GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Freshman Jayden Gardner grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight of his 30 points in overtime to lift ECU over Lamar 84-78 on Sunday in the first meeting of the teams.
Seth LeDay scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Tyler Foster added 12 while Tae Hardy and K.J. Davis had 10 points apiece for the Pirates (2-1).
LeDay's dunk and Gardner's free throws put ECU up 75-71 in OT, but Lamar led 78-77 on Edwin Jeudy's 3-pointer with 1:45 to play. Gardner's layup gave ECU an 80-78 lead with 1:23 left and he and LeDay combined for four free throws down the stretch while Lamar missed two 3-pointers.
Gardner is just the third freshman in ECU history to score 30 points in a game.
It was LeDay's put back with three seconds left in regulation that forced overtime after the Pirates trailed by 10 with 6:36 remaining.
"We were dead in the water and the guys responded and made some plays," Pirate head coach joe Dooley said. "And when things weren't going our way, we sort of held tight. We were down 10 with six and a half left and the guys had to make a decision whether we were going to keep playing or we were going to get beat and I think they made the decision that they wanted to win."
ECU converted 6 of 8 shots down the stretch and forced four turnovers, while holding Lamar to a single field goal to push the game into an extra session.
Lamar led by six at halftime and maintained the lead until LeDay's basket forced an extra five minutes.
Mike Kolawole scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Lamar (1-2). Josh Nzeakor and V.J. Holmes scored 15 points apiece, T.J. Atwood added 13 and Nick Garth had 12.
ECU travels to Atlanta on Friday, November 16, to take on Georgia Tech. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be streamed on the ACC Network Extra.