GREENVILLE — East Carolina absorbed its first home loss of the season as South Carolina State notched its first win, 73-68, on Tuesday night in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
The Pirates (5-3) had overcome deficits totaling 52 points in winning their first three games at home in the Michael Schartz coaching era.
ECU trailed 61-50 with just over seven minutes to go and made a 10-2 run to get within 63-61 on a 3-pointer by Javon Small with 3:03 left, but the Pirates could get no closer.
“We didn’t play with the tenacity on defense that we want this program to stand for,” Shwartz told the East Carolina radio network. “We’re going to figure this out.”
Lesown Hallums had a game-high 22 points for the Bulldogs (1-7) on nine for 15 field goal shooting, including four of five behind the arc.
Freshman Ezra Ausar led ECU in scoring with 18 points and in rebounding with seven. Ausar made nine of 10 from the floor.
R.J. Felton added 14 points on five of eight shooting. Small finished with 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Brandon Johnson had 12 points and five rebounds in the setback.
The Pirates look to snap a 2-game losing streak when Campbell (4-3) visits on Friday at 7 p.m.