NASSAU, Bahamas — After falling behind 53-30 with under 16 minutes remaining, East Carolina cut Missouri-Kansas City’s lead to 72-68 on two free throws by Brandon Suggs with 47 seconds left on Saturday night in the Bahamas Showcase semifinals.
A 3-pointer by Bitumba Baruti that would have gotten the Pirates within a point with 12 seconds to go was off the mark. Rob Whitfield hit two free throws for Kansas City to complete the scoring as he finished with 29 points in a 74-68 win over the Pirates (2-4).
The Roos, coached by former UNC-Wilmington player Billy Donlon, improved to 4-3 as Whitfield made seven of 12 from beyond the arc.
Suggs, a freshman, led ECU with 14 points. Sophomore Jayden Gardner and junior J.J. Miles added 13 points each.
The Pirates complete play in the Bahamas event today at 5 p.m. against former Conference USA opponent Rice (5-3).