GREENVILLE — Southern Methodist outscored East Carolina, 47-36, in the second half for an 80-66 American Athletic Conference win on Saturday night.
ECU (12-12, 3-9 AAC) led 21-16 with 8:08 left in the first half. The Mustangs (18-5, 9-2) went ahead to stay at 33-30 with 24 seconds left in the first half on a three by Emmanuel Bandoumel, who led all scorers with 23 points.
Tristen Newton paced the Pirates with 19 points. Brandon Suggs added 14 points in the setback.
Ludgy Debaut had 11 rebounds as ECU had a 39-37 lead on the boards.
“Ludgy was engaged and competitive,” said coach Joe Dooley on the Pirate Radio Network.
Suggs grabbed eight caroms.
Bandoumel hit six of 10 attempts from beyond the arc as the visitors went 14 for 30 on threes for 46.7 percent.
Vance Jackson was limited to eight points for the Pirates as he went 0-for-9 from long distance.
Newton finished with five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
SMU pulled into a tie for first in the league standings with Houston, which sustained its first loss at home in 37 games, 69-59, to Memphis.
The Pirates return to action on Thursday at 7 p.m. at South Florida in a game that was originally set for New Year’s Day before being postponed “due to health and safety protocols in the ECU program.” The Pirates will play the Bulls twice within six nights, including a home game on Wednesday, Feb. 23.