MEMPHIS — After a jumper by East Carolina sophomore Jayden Gardner tied the score at 69 with 2:18 remaining, Memphis put together an 8-4 run for a 77-73 American Athletic Conference victory on Wednesday night.
The Pirates slipped to 10-17 overall and 4-10 in the AAC despite a double-double from freshman Tristen Newton that included 23 points and 13 rebounds. Newton also had four assists.
“I think the good news is we’re in the game and have opportunities,” said ECU coach Joe Dooley. “We need to figure some things out to make sure we win.”
The Pirates will be back home to take on Temple on Sunday at noon. The Owls (13-12, 5-7) turned back ECU, 76-64, on Feb. 1 in Philadelphia.
ECU came back from a 24-8 deficit with 7:44 left in the first half at Memphis, hitting 16 of 28 field goal attempts for 57.1 percent in the second half.
Gardner finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Bitumba Baruti added 14 points. Tyrie Jackson had seven points in the setback. The Pirates got five points each from Tremont Robinson-White nd J.J. Miles. Charles Coleman rounded out the ECU scoring with three points.
The Tigers were paced by 24 points and 12 rebounds from Precious Achiuwa, who hit nine of 13 field goal attempts. Boogie Ellis added 17 points for Memphis.
ECU had a slight lead in rebounding, 38-37, but the hosts had fewer turnovers, 13-15.