DALLAS – RJ Felton led all scorers with career-high 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting but SMU’s high-scoring second half proved to be too much as the Pirates fell to the Mustangs 86-70 on Sunday afternoon in Moody Coliseum.
Jaden Walker recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and 10 assists for the Pirates (13-13, 4-9 AAC) who struggled to keep SMU off the glass and out of the paint on the afternoon. Ezra Ausar added 11 points and Brandon Johnson recorded nine points and six rebounds for ECU.
Samuell Williamson led the Mustangs (10-18, 5-10 AAC) with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and Efe Odigie dominated the paint with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams would exchange leads in the first five minutes of the first half as ECU would be ahead 9-8 at the 14:54 mark after one of Felton’s five threes on the day. That would be the one and only time the Pirates would hold a head as the Mustangs would regain momentum and would hold its largest lead of the first half at 31-22 with a little under four minutes to go.
The Pirates would cut SMU’s lead down to three but the Mustangs would go into the locker room ahead 35-28 after a last-second Williamson layup.
Coming out of the half, SMU would stretch its lead to 12 with 10:52 to go before Felton and Johnson hit back-to-back threes to pull the Pirates within six at 58-52. ECU would get no closer as the Mustangs would pull away in the latter stages of the second half for the win.
East Carolina wraps up its two-game road trip at Tulsa on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. on ESPN+.