GREENVILLE — Central Florida overcame a 20-point deficit to deal East Carolina a 92-85 American Athletic Conference defeat in overtime on Tuesday night.
It was the first loss of the season at home for the Pirates, now 10-1 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, and the 13th straight setback in the series with the Knights..
The Pirates led 53-33 with 17:29 left in regulation.
“We had a big lead,” said ECU coach Joe Dooley. “We’ve got to figure out how to maintain a lead. I think it all came from the defensive end.”
UCF hit nine of 14 from beyond the arc (64.3 percent) in the second 20 minutes.
Tristen Newton had 27 points for ECU but missed a 16-footer with five seconds left in regulation and had seven of the Pirates’ 22 turnovers.
Regulation play ended with the score tied at 72.
Texas A&M transfer Brandon Mahan put the visitors ahead to stay with a 3-pointer with 4:28 left in the extra period,
Alanzo Frink had 16 points, R.J. Felton scored 14 and Brandon Johnson had 10 points to go with a team-high eight rebounds for ECU. Brandon Suggs and Tremont Robinson-White each had seven points and five assists.
Vance Jackson, who came into the game averaging 12.8 points, was limited to two points.
Darius Perry and Mahan had 19 points apiece for UCF (11-5, 3-3 AAC).
The Pirates (11-6, 2-3) visit No. 10 Houston on Saturday for a 6 p.m. start.
“They’re an elite team,” Dooley said. “We’re going to have to regroup.”