GREENVILLE — East Carolina beat Temple for the second straight year at home, pulling away from the Owls in the second half for a 78-64 win Wednesday night in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates turned back Temple 64-61 last season on Kentrell Barkley’s 3-point play with one second left.
Barkley provided 19 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in a contest that was decided earlier this year. Caleb White had 17 points on seven of 12 field goal shooting.
Andre Washington made six of eight from the floor, scoring 15 points and blocking two shots. Michel Nzege added 11 points on four of eight shooting and he also grabbed eight rebounds.
Barkley hit a jumper with 14:06 to go that put ECU ahead 48-46 and the Pirates led the rest of the way.
That started an 11-3 spree that gave ECU a 57-49 advantage when White drained a 3-pointer with 10:31 remaining.
A 10-2 Pirates run with Nzege scoring six consecutive points pushed the lead to 71-54 when Barkley dropped two free throws with 4:07 left.
ECU improved to 12-14 overall and 4-9 in the American Athletic Conference.
Mark Williams scored 15 points for Temple (14-13, 5-9). Quinton Rose tallied 14 for the Owls and Daniel Dingle added 12.
B.J. Tyson returned to the court for the first time since a knee injury sustained Jan. 11 against Houston, scoring three points and logging four assists.
Michael Perry continues to coach East Carolina on an interim basis as Jeff Lebo recovers from a left hip replacement on Jan. 16.
The Pirates got production from freshmen as Elijah Hughes had six points, Jeremy Sheppard scored five points and Deng Riak controlled eight rebounds.
ECU led 42-30 on the boards. Each team committed nine turnovers.
The Pirates made 29 of 61 from the floor for 47.5 percent. ECU was nine for 23 beyond the arc for 39.1 percent and hit 11 of 17 free throws for 64.7 percent.
Temple had topped ECU 81-62 in Philadelphia on Jan. 7 during a winter storm that forced the Pirates to take a bus home.
ECU hosts Central Florida on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Knights held off a comeback by the Pirates on Jan. 3 for a 48-45 win in Orlando.
Richard Edwards says
So happy that the Pirates got the win! Looking forward to our next game with Central Florida – I fully believe that we can beat them at home. GGOO….PIRATES!!