GREENVILLE — East Carolina improved to 5-1 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum and 7-4 overall with an 84-75 win over Coppin State on Sunday as Javon Small had 21 points and 10 assists.
The Eagles (4-8) had a 42-37 lead at the half.
ECU went on a decisive 17-3 run to start the second half, going ahead to stay at 46-45 on a 3-pointer by Brandon Johnson with 17:46 remaining.
“The message at halftime was that they were being more physical than us,” Small told the Pirate radio network. “Our main focus coming out in the second half was being more physical, talking more and being in our positions on defense.”
ECU made 30 of 56 field goal attempts (54 percent) with 50 points in the paint.
Freshman Ezra Ausar was 9 for 12 from the floor for 18 points. Johnson added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pirates finished with a 34-25 advantage on the boards.
Guard Sam Sessoms of Coppin State led all scorers with 22 points.
Next action for ECU will be against South Carolina at the Bon Secours Wellness Center in Greenville, SC, on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Gamecocks were 4-4 going into a home game with Presbyterian on Sunday and are scheduled to visit Alabama-Birmingham on Wednesday at 7 p.m.