FORT WORTH, TX — Tristen Newton’s 3-pointer with 3:44 left to play gave Eat Carolina a 63-62 lead, but the Pirates didn’t score again in a 74-63 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament at Dickies Arena.
Pirates coach Joe Dooley voiced his frustration after ECU finished 15-15 for its first non-losing season since the 2013-14 team was 17-17.
“I thought we had a couple of looks,” Dooley said. “We had a couple we probably wish we could’ve had back. We talked about that. Then when you get stops, you have to rebound the ball. We had a couple defensive rebounds where we didn’t rebound where we needed to. Those are all things that are a difference in the game.”
Newton led all scorers with 26 points. He also had nine rebounds and six assists.
Vance Jackson had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss..
Tremont Robinson-White had seven points, Brandon Suggs scored six. J.J. Miles and Ludgy Debaut added four points each.
The Pirates were 12-for-12 at the free throw line.
David DeJulius led Cincinnati (18-14) with 22 points.
The Bearcats advance to play top-seeded Houston (26-5) in the second round on Friday at 1 p.m.