MEMPHIS — Precious Achiuwa scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Boogie Ellis hit the clinching free throw with 8.3 seconds left as Memphis edged East Carolina 77-73 on Wednesday night.
The Pirates battled back from a 16-point second-half deficit to tie the score three times, the first with 6:23 to play. But after tying the game at 69, Ellis and Achiuwa scored inside to give the Tigers a 73-69 lead going into the final minute.
ECU made one free throw and Memphis three of four for a 76-70 lead. Bitumba Baruti nailed a 3-pointer for the Pirates with 10.3 seconds to play but Ellis made it a two-possession game.
Ellis had 17 points for Memphis (18-8, 7-6 American Athletic Conference).
Tristen Newton tied a season high with 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his first double-double for the Pirates (10-17, 4-10). Jayden Gardner added 16 points and Bitumba Baruti 14.
Memphis matches up against Houston at home on Saturday. East Carolina plays Temple at home on Sunday.