TAMPA, FL — Host South Florida outscored East Carolina 10-5 over the last three minutes of overtime for a 73-68 American Athletic Conference win on Wednesday night.
The Pirates fell to 11-18 overall and 5-11 in league play. ECU had beaten the Bulls, 62-59, in Greenville on Jan. 7.
USF (12-16, 5-10) took a 66-63 lead with 2:33 remaining in the extra period on a 3-pointer by Justin Brown and the Bulls stayed ahead the rest of the way.
Jayden Gardner had 19 points to lead all scorers. Gardner had scored 15 points in the second half before picking up his fifth foul with 45 seconds left in regulation.
USF was 20 of 27 at the free throw line while the Pirates were four of six.
“That’s very tough to overcome,” said ECU coach Joe Dooley.
The Pirate skipper also said his club needed better shot selection with the lead after Gardner’s foul shot with 5:48 left in regulation put ECU up, 55-48.
The Bulls used a 9-2 run to lead 59-57 before Tremont Robinson-White’s layup with 24 seconds left tied the score at 59.
Tristen Newton had a steal for the Pirates as time ran out in regulation.
A layup by Brandon Suggs with 4:01 left in overtime gave ECU its only lead in the extra period at 61-60.
Suggs finished with 13 points and Newton added 10. Robinson-White had eight points. J.J. Miles and Bitumba Baruti had seven points each. Charles Coleman had four points.
The Pirates made 30 of 61 field goal attempts for 49.2 percent.
Brown had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead USF in both categories. Michael Durr had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls. Laquincy Rideau had 14 points in the win and David Collins netted 11.
USF had a 44-33 rebounding advantage but committed more turnovers, 17-12.
ECU hosts Connecticut on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Huskies improved to 16-12 overall and 7-8 in the AAC with an 81-65 win over visiting Central Florida on Wednesday night.