It’s amazing what the addition of a big man can do for a program. In 2016-17, the East Carolina Pirates are discovering just that.
Andre Washington, who stands at 7’1”, and is the tallest player in Pirates’ history, transferred to East Carolina from the Wake Forest Demon Deacons following the 2015-16 season, is starting to find his groove with his new team.
Last time out, Washington recorded 12 points and 8 rebounds in East Carolina’s loss to the Charlotte 49ers. On Sunday, he showed everyone what he is capable of.
In the campus opener of the Savannah Invitational against the Stetson Hatters, Washington recorded a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the Pirates to the 73-50 victory.
East Carolina opened up a 37-23 lead over the Hatters at halftime ,and Washington was a big reason for the lead. He scored 15 of his 21 points in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, Washington gave way to Caleb White, who hit four of his five three pointers in the final 20 minutes to secure the win for East Carolina.
Three different players recorded double-digit rebounds for the Pirates, and East Carolina out-rebounded Stetson by a sizeable margin, 63-38. Sophomore guard Kentrell Barkley recorded a double-double, chipping in 10 points and 11 rebounds, while also dishing out 7 assists.
For the Hatters, it was a dismal shooting performance that ultimately did them in.
As a team, they went just 3-of-31 (9.7%) from three point range, and 14-of-69 (20.3%) from the field. Derick Newton led the way, scoring a team-high 15 points in the loss.
Divine Myles recorded a double-double of his own, putting in 10 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.
With the win, East Carolina head coach Jeff Lebo is now tied for the most wins in program history (102) with Tom Quinn (1966-74).
The East Carolina Pirates (3-1, 0-0) will look to give Lebo career win number 103 on Tuesday night when they take on the Florida A&M Rattlers.
As for the Stetson Hatters (2-2, 0-0), the loss was their second straight, as they fell to The Citadel Bulldogs on Friday night, 116-112. They will look to get back on track on Tuesday night when they go on the road to take on the Air Force Falcons.
– T. Bennett