ECU men’s basketball drops road contest at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ECU ATHLETICS) – RJ Felton scored a game-high 20 points, but it wasn’t enough as East Carolina fell to Charlotte 67-52 in front of a sold-out Dale F. Halton Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Jaden Walker added nine points and Ezra Ausar scored six for the Pirates (11-12, 4-6 AAC) who only had one scorer in double figures for the first time this season and shot under 40 percent from the floor for the fifth straight game.

Lu’Cye Patterson led Charlotte (14-7. 8-1 AAC) with 16 points and was one of three 49ers in double figures.

The Pirates would get on the board first after a Cyr Malonga dunk in the opening 20 seconds of the game and the teams would trade baskets going into the first media timeout with Charlotte holding an 8-6 lead. ECU would retake the lead at 10-9 after holding the 49ers without a basket and forcing three turnovers in a two-minute span.

The 49ers would go ahead by as much as six after a Robert Braswell three made it 24-18 with 4:37 remaining in the first half but the Pirates would hold Charlotte to just one made field goal in the last four minutes to trim the 49ers’ lead to 26-24 going into the locker room.

ECU would score the first four points of the second half, but Charlotte would use a 6-0 run to go back ahead 34-31 at the under-16 media timeout. The 49ers would take a five-point lead on back-to-back baskets that would bring the crowd of 8,201 to its feet, but ECU would quickly quiet the arena momentarily on a Felton three-pointer that would pull ECU within two points at the 10:51 mark.

The Pirates would not get any closer as Charlotte would extend its lead to seven after back-to-back scores from Patterson and ECU would go without any points for over four minutes.

Up Next East Carolina will have a full week before their next game at UTSA next Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU.