GREENVILLE, N.C. — Moussa Cisse scored 14 points with nine rebounds and Memphis beat East Carolina 80-53 on Sunday.
It was the first time the Pirates’ had taken the court in 15 days brought by the effects of COVD-19 which left them shorthanded with only eight scholarship players available and without their head coach Joe Dooley.
Dooley who tested positive for COVID-19 last weekend remained in quarantine and was unable to be with his team for the first time in his coaching career.
DeAndre Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds for Memphis (8-5, 4-2 American Athletic Conference). Boogie Ellis scored 11 points and Landers Nolley II had seven rebounds.
The Pirates only trailed by three, 13-10, at the first media timeout, but Memphis flexed its offensive and defensive muscle and outscored ECU 36-8 over the final 15:00 minutes of the first half and led 49-18 at intermission.
“We had a really good start and I think there was a stretch after that really good start were we didn’t respond very well to their pressure,” said Pirate associate head coach Steve Roccaforte. “We also tried some zone. We thought we could mix some zone in. They hit a couple of threes and we just didn’t respond very well during that period of time.”
The Tigers shot 53 percent both overall and outside the arc in the opening 20 minutes, burying 8 of 15 from 3-point range, while holding the Pirates to seven first-half field goals and 21 percent shooting.
Memphis finished the game shooting 50 percent and out-rebounded ECU by 10.
Tremont Robinson-White had 15 points for the Pirates (7-4, 1-4), Brandon Suggs scored 11 and Tristen Newton 10. Jayden Gardner added 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his league-leading fifth double-double of the season.