GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina’s Brandon Suggs hit a buzzer beater, and the Pirates topped short-handed Memphis Saturday afternoon in Greenville, N.C., 72-71.
The Tigers (9-7, 3-3 American Athletic Conference) were playing with six scholarship players due to injuries. East Carolina (11-5, 2-2 AAC) led for only 53 seconds of the game.
Memphis was led in scoring by Jalen Duren with 15. Emoni Bates and Tyler Harris each added 13, Josh Minott had 12 and Lester Quinones finished with 10.
Memphis used an 11-0 run to open up a 19-8 lead, while forcing East Carolina into seven-straight misses, which set the tone for the remainder of the first half. The Tigers led by as many as 19 points when Bates hit his third of three-straight triples, and the Pirates did not get within single digits for the remainder of the half.
The Tigers made five of their seven 3-point tries in the first half (.714) and shot 57.6 percent from the field overall (19-33). Memphis also had 24 points in the paint in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half got dicey late, with the Pirates going on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 70 with under a minute left. Lester Quinones drove to the basket on the next possession and was fouled, and he split the pair of free throws to put Memphis ahead, 71-70, with 14 seconds left.
East Carolina took it down and tried a layup, which was swatted out of bounds by Earl Timberlake. With one second on the clock, the Pirates inbounded to Suggs, who banked it in for the victory.
East Carolina is now 10-0 at home this season.
Suggs and Vance Jackson led the Pirates with 17 points apiece.
The Tigers return home Thursday night at 6 p.m. to host SMU. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Memphis wraps up next week’s action Sunday at 2 p.m. at Tulsa on ESPN.