GREENVILLE — Houston used a 12-0 first-half run to take control of its American Athletic Conference contest at East Carolina on Sunday and the Cougars went on to a 65-49 win.
Houston was ahead 36-17 at halftime.
The Cougars led 61-31 before the Pirates closed with an 18-4 flurry.
Interim coach Michael Perry kept some of his top personnel on the floor at the end so ECU could build some momentum in preparation for a home game with South Florida on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
A 3-pointer by redshirt freshman Shawn Williams, who led the Pirates with 17 points, started the final spree for the hosts.
B.J. Tyson added 12 points and four assists for ECU (7-10, 1-5 AAC) after a scoreless first half.
Dimitri Spasojevic had six points and four rebounds in the loss. Kentrell Barkley contributed three points and nine rebounds. Justice Obasohan had two points.
Jabari Craig didn’t score but pulled down five rebounds.
Corey Davis Jr. dropped six of eight shots from behind the arc to lead Houston (14-3, 5-1) with 20 points. Fabian White Jr. had 17 points for the Cougars.
Rob Gray was below his league-leading scoring average (19.1) with 12 points but finished with a game-high nine assists.
The Pirates were coming off a 95-60 home loss on Thursday night to Wichita State, which came to Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum ranked No. 5 nationally.
“We’ve seen the top of our league and that’s what we had to play against,” Perry said. “There’s a big divide in this league among the top teams and the other teams. The top tier, Wichita State, Cincinnati and Houston, are the elite of this league. We’ve seen it. We know the gap that we have to try to close.”