Pirates ousted, finish with 10 wins
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, March 8, 2018
There was no March magic for the East Carolina basketball team, which had its season end with low drama late Thursday night in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The 11th-seeded Pirates fell 66-52 to No. 6 Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., to end the year on a six-game losing streak. ECU finished 10-20 for its lowest win total since 2009-10.
ECU was led by interim coach Michael Perry for most of the season and now will head into an offseason likely with an eye on bringing in a new coach to rejuvenate the program.
UCF (19-12) started the game on a 21-9 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Dayon Griffin. A triple by the Knights early in the second half made it a 14-point lead — 44-30 — and UCF was 8-of-12 on 3-pointers at the time.
But ECU stormed back and cut it to 46-45 with 9:36 to play. B.J. Tyson’s 3 made it 46-45.
UCF answered with 10 straight points for the most important run of the contest.
Tyson finished with 14 points (2-of-4 on 3-pointers) in his final game as a Pirate. AAC freshman of the year Shawn Williams and Knights guard B.J. Taylor each scored a game-high 17.
The Pirates didn’t hold a lead all night. They trailed 36-25 at halftime.
The victors finished 8-of-18 from 3-point range.
East Carolina’s last win was Feb. 14 with an 82-80 victory at Tulane.
Taylor shot 6-of-14 from the field. He was complemented by forward A.J. Davis (14 points in 33 minutes) and Chad Brown with eight points and 10 rebounds.
The Pirates out-rebounded UCF 34-28, but they also had 20 turnovers. The Knights had nine turnovers and went to the free throw line 36 times, making 20 of those attempts.