7:02 pm
November 30

Appalachian State @ East Carolina

Who will WIN this matchup?

Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-4)

@ East Carolina Pirates (4-4)


Current odds:

Appalachian State Mountaineers: (-110)

East Carolina Pirates: (-110)


•  The line for this game is even.

• Jayden Gardner continues to do great things for East Carolina, which will host Appalachian State on Friday, but those things aren’t necessarily translating to wins. The freshman had his second 30-point game of the season Tuesday in a loss to UNC Wilmington and will try to keep his streak of six straight games in double digits going against the Mountaineers. Gardner became the first freshman to record multiple 30-point games and the second since Jim Gregory in 1970-71 to have more than one 30-point, 10-rebound game for the Pirates, who have lost two straight for the first time this season. Gardner, a 6-6 forward from Wake Forest, N.C., is one of four freshmen in Division I averaging at least 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds along with Zion Williamson of Duke, Bol Bol of Oregon and Lamine Diane of California Northridge.

Justin Forrest and Ronshad Shabazz are lighting it up from 3-point land while combining to average 35.9 points for the Mountaineers, who recently snapped a four-game losing streak.

• Shabazz’s exploits are nothing new as he scored 1,587 points and made 206 3-points in his four seasons in Boone, N.C., but the sophomore Forrest has begun to match him after enjoying a solid freshman season. Forrest, who is averaging 18.2 points while shooting 54.5 percent from deep, missed the Mountaineers’ 91-64 victory over Winston-Salem after taking a hard fall in a loss to Ball State in the Charleston Classic. Isaac Johnson is the only other Appalachian State player scoring in double figures while shooting 59.1 percent and the junior forward recently went over 500 rebounds for his career.

• The Pirates are bound to have some up and downs when giving extensive minutes to several young players, including freshmen Gardner and Tae Hardy, sophomores K.J. Davis and Shawn Williams and a junior in Seth LeDay who is playing his first season at the Division I level, and nothing illustrates that point better than the last two games. After winning two straight, the Pirates lost to High Point 55-52 on Saturday before falling to Wilmington 95-86 three days later. “We’ve got guys that are young and shouldn’t be out there yet,” Dooley told the media. “The good thing is they’re getting minutes. I think they’ll continue to get better, but we’ve got a long way to go to improve and get things better.”

• The Pirates and the Mountaineers have met 62 times with East Carolina winning the most recent matchups in 2011 and 2012 to take a 35-27 series lead.

• LeDay has registered at least eight rebounds in six of the eight games for the Pirates.

• Only seven freshmen in Division I are averaging more rebounds than Gardner (8.4).

StreakSmarter Pick
East Carolina Pirates