GREENVILLE — Houston dealt East Carolina a 74-58 American Athletic Conference loss on Wednesday night in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum as the Cougars built a 47-25 halftime lead and held off comeback attempts by the Pirates in the second half.
Rob Gray had 19 points as Houston improved to 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the AAC.
Kentrell Barkley had 13 points for ECU (9-9, 1-4). Andre Washington added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Pirates.
Caleb White had 12 points in the setback and B.J. Tyson had nine before he was helped off the floor after his dunk on Jeremy Sheppard’s assist with just under seven minutes left to play. Tyson appeared to sustain a knee injury.
Elijah Hughes had seven points for the Pirates and Sheppard netted five.
Barkley had eight rebounds and Tyson grabbed five as ECU held a 32-31 rebounding advantage.
Houston leads the AAC in fewest turnovers and committed just five. ECU had 12 turnovers.
The Cougars, who prevailed 97-93 last season in double overtime in Greenville, jumped out to an 11-1 lead on Wednesday night.
Armoni Brooks had 15 points for Houston. Wes VanBeck tallied 13 for the visitors.
Damyean Dotson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars. Galen Robinson Jr. had five assists as Houston made 13 of 23 from behind the arc for 56.5 percent.
The Pirates held an advantage on free throws, hitting 21 of 27 while Houston was five of six at the line.’
Cincinnati is the only league team to beat the Cougars, taking a 67-58 road win on Jan. 7.
ECU hosts the Bearcats on Sunday at 4 p.m.