East Carolina’s struggles on the road reared its ugly head again Sunday, as the Pirates fell to Tulsa in Oklahoma, 74-66.
The Pirates (13-16, 5-11 American Athletic Conference) are 1-10 playing away from Greenville and picked up their first win on the road Tuesday against Tulane. But the Golden Hurricane (14-14, 8-8 American Athletic Conference) got the best of the Pirates, handing them yet another road loss.
Tulsa lost six of its last seven games before the win over the Pirates. Earlier in the season ECU grabbed the win over the Golden Hurricane, 69-66 on Jan. 25.
In Sunday’s game, the first half was an exciting one from the start. ECU started the game with a 5-0 run and held a one-point lead with 11:42 left to play in the first half . Both teams continued to exchange baskets during the half. With 31 seconds left in the half, sophomore guard Kentrell Barkley hit a 3-point jumper to set the score at 29-27 with Tulsa leading by two points going into the half.
Senior forward Caleb White started the second half with a big 3-pointer to give the Pirates momentum. ECU and the Golden Hurricane kept within close range with each other until about 10 minutes left in the game. Tulsa started to pull away and with 1:38 left, grabbed its largest lead with the score at 72-60 after making a pair of free throws. The Pirates cut the lead to single digits, but ultimately fell with a final score of 74-66.
Forward Junior Etou led the Golden Hurricane in scoring with 23 points to get the win over the Pirates. In the previous meeting Etou scored a career-high 31 points against the Pirates. He leads the team in average points per game with 12.8.
For the Pirates’ offense, White led the team with 20 points. Barkley was a close behind second with 19 points for ECU. The Pirates, despite shooting better this game than in the win they had earlier this season against Tulsa, averaged 42.2 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. In the previous meeting between the two teams ECU averaged 36.8 percent for the field and 27.3 percent.
The Pirates defeated Tulsa in their last game without junior guard B.J. Tyson, who was out with a leg injury. In this game Tyson scored two points and got an assist in 12 minutes of playing time.
Defensively ECU wasn’t as strong as it has been in the first meeting between the two teams. Tulsa averaged 48 percent shooting from the field and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc. In the first game against the Pirates Tulsa averaged 31.1 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from the three point line.
The Pirates play tomorrow night at Minges Coliseum for Senior Night against the UConn Huskies. Tipoff is at 7:00 P.M.