NEW ORLEANS — Missing three players with a combined 41 starts this season, East Carolina fell victim to an early Tulane surge and absorbed an 86-66 American Athletic Conference loss on Saturday.
Brandon Suggs missed his sixth straight game in a six-game losing streak for the Pirates, who slipped to 11-11 overall and 2-8 in the AAC.
J.J. Miles and Tremont Robinson-White were also out. ECU coach Joe Dooley was doubtful Suggs or Miles would be back for a Tuesday game at 8 p.m. at Tulsa (7-14, 1-9) but said Robinson-White was a possibility.
After Ludgy Debaut gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead on Saturday, the Green Wave (10-10, 7-4) went on a spree that produced 11 of 19 shooting from beyond the arc (57.9 percent) in the first 20 minutes and a 49-26 lead at the half.
Tulane’s biggest lead was 82-55 with 5:15 remaining.
“When they shoot threes like that, we’re going to have some problems,” Dooley said on the Pirate Radio Network, “They tilted our zone.”
Suggs, Miles and Robinson-White combined for 24 points and 16 assists in an 88-80 overtime win over the Wave in Greenville on Jan. 5.
Vance Jacjkson led the Pirates with 27 points on Saturday. Jackson made 10 of 18 field goal attempts, including seven of 12 on 3-point tries. He also had eight rebounds.
Tristen Newton had 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for ECU. Brandon Johnson added nine points, eight rebounds and blocked four shots.
Jaylen Forbes led Tulane with 26 points.