MEMPHIS — A 22-0 run in the second half sent Memphis to a 69-59 American Athletic Conference win over East Carolina at FedExForum on Saturday.
The Pirates went 7 of 14 from beyond the arc in the first half to lead 33-25 at the break.
ECU (10-7, 1-3 AAC) was on top, 36-29, with 16:56 left to play after Ludgy Debaut hit a free throw to complete a 3-point play.
The Pirates didn’t score again until R.J. Felton made a jumper in the paint with 11:10 to go. The Tigers (12-4, 2-1) built a 51-36 lead during ECU’s scoreless span.
Brandon Johnson led the Pirates with 15 points. Felton finished with 10 points. Javon Small had 10 points and four assists, but was responsible for nine of ECU’s 22 turnovers.
“Turnovers were the key,” said Pirates coach Michael Schwartz on the ECU radio network. “It was the difference. … Memphis does a great job with their pressure.”
The Pirates had 12 turnovers in the second half and made just two of 14 shots from beyond the arc after intermission.
Memphis had a 28-12 lead in points off turnovers.
Jaden Walker had seven points and a game-high six rebounds in the setback. Ezra Ausar also had seven points for ECU.
Memphis was paced by Deandre Williams with 19 points. Kendric Davis added 14 points with six assists.
The Pirates visit Cincinnati (11-5, 2-1) on Wednesday (ESPNU, 9 p.m.).