This post appears here courtesy of ECU Sports
David Collins had 16 points and Justin Brown scored all 12 of his points after halftime to lead USF past East Carolina 69-63 inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum on Saturday.
Brown made three consecutive 3-pointers and Collins added a fourth straight to ignite a game defining 14-2 runs that propelled the Bulls to a 43-34 lead with 14:34 to play. USF (7-5, 3-3 American) stretched its lead out to 13 over the following six minutes and found itself ahead 67-54 with 2:49 remaining.
ECU (7-3, 1-3 American) trimmed its deficit to four in a span 1:04, scoring nine unanswered points. Tremont Robinson-White start the run with his third of three 3-pointers on the night.
Robinson-White finished with a career-high 29 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the field, including 3 of 6 outside the 3-point arc, and 8 of12 at the free throw line.
The Pirates scored their final points on a baseline jumper from J.J. Miles with 53 seconds left, but came up empty on its next three possessions despite holding USF without a point until Brown made a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds to play to determine the final score.
The Bulls earned their fourth win in the last five meetings against the Pirates and second straight.
ECU led by one at halftime, 26-25, after Robinson-White hit two free throws with less than two seconds remaining in the half. The Pirates shot just 25 percent in the opening stanza, while USF connected on 33 of its field goal attempts.
The largest lead by each team in the opening half was five points.
Both teams were 14 of 28 from the field in the second half, but USF made 6 of 10 3s and the Pirates made just 2 of 10 outside the arc.
"We've got to give credit to South Florida for that stretch to start the second half. I thought we had a decent enough start. Brown got on a little bit of a roll, they made four straight 3s and we put ourselves in a little bit of pinch. We had some stretches where we did some really good things and some stretches where we played some really bad basketball. We've got to clean that up quickly."
— ECU Head Coach Joe Dooley
"It was a slow-paced game, not really our style. They went on a bigger run (in the second half), but then we came back and were almost able to finish up the comeback. But that was a tough one, a tough one."
— Jayden Gardner
- ECU used its sixth different starting lineup (Robinson-White, Miles, Suggs, Baruti, Debaut) of the season and first without Gardner since Nov. 8, 2019 against Navy, snapping a string of 38 consecutive starts. Gardner has started 70 of 72 career games played.
- Gardner posted his fourth double-double of the season and 27th of his career, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
- Tyrie Jackson matched his career-high for steals with three.
- The Pirates dropped their first home game of the season after opening with six consecutive victories.
- Miles James played a season-high 17 minutes. He had seen just 17 total minutes of action in four games played this year.