Dylan Johnson / ESPN Greenville
The East Carolina University men’s basketball team lost 78-91 Sunday afternoon on the road to Tulsa, making
Tulane still the only road win for ECU in the conference schedule. ECU previously lost at home against Tulsa back on Feb. 17 by a score of 77-73. The season is winding down in a not so friendly way for ECU, who have still won just three AAC contests, and 10
games in total. On the bright side, Joe Dooley and Shawn Williams faced no discipline for getting ejected from last Wednesday’s debacle against Houston. Here are some takeaways from Sunday’s rematch:
- Isaac Fleming: Fleming has been playing his best basketball of the season down the stretch of his senior campaign. Fleming has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 14 games. The game against Tulsa continued that streak when he scored 20 points. Fleming also just missed a triple-double, recording 10 assists and nine rebounds to go along with the 20 points. Fleming recorded the program’s only two triple-doubles ever last season and Sunday’s would have been the third if he reached it. Fleming also turned the ball over only once and recorded three steals.
- Double-figure double-double: Freshman Jayden Gardner scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to record his 10th double-double of the season. Gardner is still the only AAC player in the top 10 of both scoring and rebounds and is among the nation’s leaders in freshman scoring but has cooled off considerably down the stretch of the season compared to the first few games of conference play.
- Hot streak continues: Shawn Williams scored 26 points on eight 3-pointers in the OT loss at home previously. Williams followed that up with 5-of-11 3-point shooting on his way to an 18-point performance. Over the last month, Williams has played much more like the reigning freshman-of-the-year in the AAC. That is critical for Dooley’s long-term plans.
- Not much defense: ECU struggled to stop Tulsa at any point in the game. The Golden Hurricanes finished at 59.2 percent shooting from the floor and 52.6 percent from 3-point range. Tulsa also had several key individual performances, led by Curran Scott. Scott scored 23 points and was 3-of-5 from 3. Martins Igbanu scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and Jeriah Horne chipped in 17 points off of the bench thanks to 5-of-7 shooting from 3. It is the second consecutive game ECU has given up more than 90 points, and third straight of over 80 points allowed.
- Bench play disparity: The Tulsa bench outscored the ECU bench 37-9. That includes being outscored 21-2 in the second half. Six of those nine bench points came from freshman DeShaun Wade, who shot 2-for-2 from the 3-point line. Just three bench players logged more than 10 minutes of action for Dooley’s Pirates, versus Tulsa’s bench that sent three players out there for more than 20 minutes. Williams played all but one minute of the game for ECU.
ECU mercifully plays its last away game of the season on Tuesday, as the Pirates take on Wichita State at
9 p.m. ECU is 1-10 on the road this season despite having a few opportunities to steal some road games, such as the overtime loss at USF, the six-point loss at Memphis, and a couple of non-conference games that were lost by two possessions or less.
Wichita State defeated the Pirates 65-49 back in Minges Coliseum back on Feb. 6. That blowout loss prompted Dooley to remove the ECU practice jerseys from players and demand better play. The Pirates are 1-5 since then.