The East Carolina University men’s basketball team began the American Athletic Conference Tournament with an early exit after a 66-52 loss against the University of Central Florida last night.
ECU entered the second half down 11 points, 36-25, looking to cut into the deficit and fight its way back into the game. That is exactly what they did. After going down 40-25, the Pirates went on a 20-6 run to bring the score to 46-45. Guards senior B.J. Tyson and redshirt freshman Shawn Williams were going for ECU, but UCF went on a 18-1 run after that to put the game out of reach. The Knights went on to win the game 66-52 to advance to the second round of the AAC tournament.
The first half started off really slow for ECU when it came to scoring the basketball. The first basket for the Pirates came almost three minutes into the game off of a Williams’ three pointer. In the first 10 minutes of the game it was a low-scoring affair, UCF led 15-9. With 6:30 left in the half, ECU trailed 22-9. The defense for the Knights seemed impenetrable. The Pirates were within eight points, with the score being 33-25 before UCF knocked down a three pointer to end the first half, bringing the score to 36-25.
Williams and Tyson combined for 31 of the 52 points in the game. Williams scored 17 points to lead the way for ECU on 5-for-13 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 from three. Tyson in his last collegiate game finished with 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field as well and 2-for-4 from deep. His last basket came with 1:12 left in the game on a fast break two-hand slam. Senior center Jabari Craig in his last game managed to put up seven points and eight rebounds.
With the loss, the season comes to an end for the Pirates, as they finish with a 10-20 record, going 4-15 in conference play.