GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Jalen Adams scored 26 points and Connecticut held on to beat East Carolina 84-80 on Sunday despite giving up a triple-double to the Pirates’ Isaac Fleming.
Terry Larrier added 20 points and Christian Vital finished with 16 points to help the Huskies (13-14, 6-8 American Athletic Conference) snap a two-game losing streak. They shot a season-best 58.2 percent in their highest-scoring performance since their double-overtime, 90-88 loss to Tulsa on Jan. 3.
Fleming had his second triple-double and the second in school history – both coming in the past month – for the Pirates (10-15, 4-10), finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Freshman Shawn Williams added 26 points, and his deep 3-pointer – his seventh of the game – pulled ECU to 82-80 with 15.6 seconds left.
Adams hit two free throws with 14.7 seconds remaining, and after B.J. Tyson left a layup short with about six seconds remaining, Tyler Polley grabbed the defensive rebound that effectively sealed it.
Connecticut: The Huskies’ offense certainly found its groove, hitting a season-best 13 3s against an East Carolina team that entered as the league’s third-best at defending the arc. Now the challenge is stringing a few of these performances together and finding a way to salvage the year once postseason play begins.
East Carolina: Fleming and Williams once again proved themselves as a pair of solid building blocks for the Pirates’ next permanent coach, with Michael Perry finishing up the season on an interim basis after Jeff Lebo stepped down in November. Fleming also had a triple-double Feb. 3 against Memphis and Williams has been the team’s top scorer in conference play.
Connecticut: The Huskies hit the road for a Thursday night rematch with No. 5 Cincinnati, which beat UConn 65-57 on Feb. 3.
East Carolina: The Pirates play host to SMU on Wednesday night.