ECU effort falters late in loss at Memphis

The Pirates score just once over the final 2 1/2 minutes in a 78-72 loss to its American Athletic Conference rival

Kyvon Davenport dunks over ECU's Jayden Gardner in Memphis' win against the Pirates on Thursday (Matthew Smith/Memphis athletics photo)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — East Carolina followed up its home upset of Cincinnati on Saturday with a strong effort on the road Thursday. But despite a balanced attack led by Jayden Gardner’s 18 points, the Pirates’ fell short in a 78-72 loss to American Athletic Conference rival Memphis.

Tyler Harris scored 16 points, Kyvon Davenport had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Tigers, who rebounded from a 90-77 loss at then-No. 19 Houston on Sunday that snapped a four-game win streak. The win improved Memphis to 10-6, 2-1 in the AAC. ECU (8-7, 1-2) has lost three of its last five.

With the game tied at 65 with about eight minutes left, Isaiah Maurice scored on a hook shot, Davenport made a dunk and Harris a 3-pointer and the Tigers led 72-67 with 4:47 left. The Pirates cut the deficit to 72-70 with 2:31 to go but did not score again until three seconds remained.

Harris made four 3-pointers and Davenport collected his sixth double-double of the season. Kareem Brewton Jr. added 13 points for the Tigers. Antwann Jones and Maurice chipped in 10 points apiece.

Seth LeDay added 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. K.J. Davis had 12 points and 12 rebounds for ECU.