GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Jayden Gardner scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds as East Carolina pulled away from Prairie View A&M in the second half to win its second-straight game, 76-64 on Wednesday night in the final of the Deep South Showcase.
The loss was the fifth straight for Prairie View after opening the season with a win at Santa Clara. The Panthers play 12 straight road games to start the season and do not play their home opener until 2019.
Tyler Singleton hit a 3-pointer with 1:37 left in the first half to pull Prairie View even at 31-31 and the teams went into intermission deadlocked. But after Devonte Patterson got the Panthers even again at 35-35 early in the second half, Gardner got to the basket for a layup to spark a 10-0 run by the Pirates.
Gardner, a freshman, hit 11 of 14 from the field and pulled down 13 of his boards off the defensive glass. Shawn Williams knocked down 4 of 9 from distance and finished with 18 points and Seth LeDay added 13.