East Carolina played from behind for much of the way in a 68-64 American Athletic Conference loss to Central Florida on Thursday night in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates slipped to 9-14 overall and 3-7 in league play going into an AAC game at Tulane on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Green Wave (10-11, 2-7) lost 75-62 at Houston on Thursday night.
ECU topped Tulane, 81-62, at home on Jan. 25.
The Pirates fell behind the Knights, 9-0, on Thursday night but came back to lead 12-9 on a 3-pointer by Tristen Newton with 12:40 left in the first half.
Newton scored in the paint to give ECU its last lead at 20-18 with 4:39 left in the half.
The Knights had their biggest lead at 62-45 with five minutes to go before the Pirates made a run.
ECU closed within 66-62 on a three by Newton with 44 seconds remaining.
Newton had 23 points, four assists and three steals before fouling out. Jayden Gardner had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates. Tremont Robinson-White and J.J, Miles each had seven points. Baruti Bitumba finished with five points and six rebounds.
UCF (12-10, 3-7) was led by 17 points from Matt Milon, who went five for eight from beyond the arc. Collin Smith had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Knights. Darin Green Jr. scored 13.