Newton looks confident, Navy is next
By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Friday, November 8, 2019
East Carolina freshman point guard Tristen Newton didn't play like a rookie in his collegiate debut.
While some of his new teammates, including J.J. Miles and Bitumba Baruti, were trying to get settled during a first half Tuesday against Virginia Military Institute that ended with VMI leading by two points at halftime, Newton was at times the most aggressive player on the court.
He tied leading scorer Jayden Gardner with 32 minutes played in the game. The freshman from El Paso, Texas, was second on the Pirates with 20 points thanks to a 3-of-5 mark from 3-point range. His first collegiate shot was a made a 3-pointer.
"I was pretty confident," Newton said after the game, an 80-68 victory for the Pirates. "They've been telling me that I'm good and am built for this and ready. I was pretty prepared for it."
With guards Tremont Robinson-White and Tyrie Jackson both out of the lineup with injuries after both were projected starters during the offseason, ECU played 10 players. Baruti played 29 minutes off the bench, improving during the second half to finish with seven points and nine rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting from the field.
East Carolina at Navy, 8:30 p.m.
How to watch: CBS Sports Network.
Why to watch: ECU hasn't won its first road game in a season since 2013-14 in an 85-84 win at UNC Greensboro as part of the Pirates starting 4-0 that year. What also is at stake tonight for ECU is improving to a seven-game winning streak versus Navy. The teams haven't played since 1991, and the Midshipmen hold a 12-8 series lead. ECU needs to play well on the road with its new-look team, considering there are only two home games in November with the final one Nov. 16 against Liberty.
Matchup to watch: Navy has one player taller than 6-foot-8 in 6-9 Jack Lawrence, and he didn't play in a 68-55 overtime loss to George Mason on Tuesday. This might be another game that the Pirates don't need big minutes from 7-footers Charles Coleman or Ludgy Debaut, but they can play small and use Gardner, Baruti and Seth LeDay to match up against Navy 6-8, 240-pound senior starting big man Evan Wieck.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at email@example.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.