GREENVILLE — South Florida used a 16-2 run in the second half to take a 69-63 American Athletic Conference win at East Carolina on Saturday despite a 29-point effort by Tremont Robinsoin-White of the Pirates.
“We’ve got to give South Florida credit for that stretch to start the second half,” said ECU coach Joe Dooley. ” … (Justin) Brown got on a little bit of a roll. They made four straight threes.”
A steal and dunk by Brandon Suggs put the Pirates ahead, 32-27, with 18:23 left, but then Brown and the Bulls began to connect from long range.
The decisive spree for USF included three straight 3-pointers from Brown and another from beyond the arc by David Collins.
A jumper by Collins gave the visitors a 67-54 lead with 2:49 to go. ECU got within 67-63 on a basket by J.J. Miles with 53 seconds remaining following a shot clock violation on the Bulls.
“That was a tough one,” said Jayden Gardner, who came off the bench for 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Gardner did not start because he had missed practice due to an injury.
The Pirates were without Tristen Newton for the second straight game and freshman Noah Farrakhan did not play.
Robinson-White made nine of 14 shots from the floor, including three of six from long distance. He was eight of 12 at the line.
USF (7-5, 3-3 AAC) got 16 points from Collins, 12 from Brown and 10 from Alexis Yetna.
Miles scored eight points in the setback and Suggs added seven. Bitumba Baruti had eight rebounds for the Pirates.
ECU (7-3, 1-3) will look to regroup for a game at Cincinnati on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Bearcats are 3-6 overall and 1-3 in league play going into a game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Wichita State.