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Cougars top ECU in regular season finale

By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

HOUSTON Behind 50 percent field goal shooting, host Houston evened its American Athletic Conference regular season series with East Carolina by pulling away to a 72-54 win Sunday.

A layup by Devonta Pollard, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds, put the Cougars ahead to stay at 11-9 with 13:33 left in the first half.

Houston (12-18, 4-14) was on top 35-24 at the half.

The Pirates trailed by double digits the last 20 minutes as the Cougars won their third straight.

ECU (13-18, 6-12) got 13 points from Terry Whisnant.

Marshall Guilmette and Caleb White scored nine points each for the Pirates.

Michel Nzege had a team-high six rebounds for ECU, which was beaten 39-24 on the boards.

Antonio Robinson had six assists for the Pirates, who made nine of 30 shots in the first half (30 percent) before improving to 11 of 23 in the second half for 47.8 percent.

B.J. Tyson had seven points in the setback and Paris Roberts-Campbell added six. Tyson and Whisnant each had three steals.

Jherrod Stiggers of Houston had 17 points after being limited to five points in a 66-61 loss to ECU in Greenville on Jan. 14. Stiggers scored 14 in the second half as Houston led by as many as 21 points after intermission.

The Pirates will be seeded eighth for the AAC tournament and will meet No. 9 seed Central Florida (12-17, 5-13) in the opening round at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPNU).

The winner of that matchup advances to take on top-seeded SMU (24-6, 15-3) at noon on Friday (ESPN2).

PAGE UPDATED 03/09/15 01:18 AM.

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