ESTERO, FL — East Carolina recovered from its first loss of the season to defeat Toledo, 86-75, on Tuesday in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Pirates (4-1) got 24 points and seven assists from sophomore guard Javon Small in overcoming an 18-0 first-half run by the Rockets (3-2).
ECU made just 24 of 38 free throws in a 79-75 loss to Indiana State on Monday, but dropped 15 of 18 at the line and had a 36-26 rebounding advantage against Toledo.
Brandon Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes for the Pirates.
R.J. Felton had 14 points in the win after going scoreless Monday. Jaden Walker finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Felton scored on a follow shot to put ECU ahead to stay at 51-50 with 9:49 left. Felton had the next two hoops for the Pirates from behind the arc and added a 3-pointer at the 6:02 mark to complete a vital 18-7 spree that provided a 67-57 lead.
The Rockets, who are averaging 90.3 points, got 25 points from J.T. Shumate.
“That’s the closest thing to a 40-minute effort defensively,” said first-year ECU coach Michael Schwartz. “(Toledo) is a dynamic offensive team.”
The Pirates wrap up the Gulf Coast event against Texas-Arlington (3-3) today with a 1:30 p.m. tipoff.