ORLANDO — East Carolina finished the regular season with an 84-58 American Athletic Conference loss at Central Florida on Sunday.
It was the second road game in a 3-day span for the Pirates and their third contest in a 5-day period.
ECU will get a needed break before starting play in the AAC Tournament on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. The Pirates are the No. 9 seed and will take on eighth-seeded South Florida. The matchup is scheduled to be shown on ESPNU.
The Bulls topped ECU twice this season, 81-70 in Greenville on Jan. 15 and, 71-63, in Tampa on Feb. 1.
Pirates coach Mike Shwartz didn’t want to use the busy week as an excuse.
“We don’t have a deep bench and R.J. (Felton) went down with a sprained ankle,” Shwartz said on the ECU radio network. “At the end of the day, you have to find a way to fight through that and we didn’t do that.”
Felton had nine points in 24 minutes. The Pirates have been without leading scorer Javon Small since he sustained a knee injury on Jan. 11. Small averaged 15.8 points through 18 games. Felton was averaging 13.9 points prior to the UCF game.
The Pirates never led on Sunday, trailed 40-25 at the half and went the last 6:31 without a field goal. The biggest lead for the hosts was 71-44 with 6:48 to go.
Ezra Ausar led ECU (15-16, 6-12 AAC) with14 points. Brandon Johnson had 12 points and six rebounds. Jaden Walker had 11 points and six rebounds. Quentin Diboundje added nine points.
Taylor Hendricks paced UCF (17-13, 8-10) with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Ithiel Horton netted 19 points for the Knights.
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