GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — KJ Davis scored 17 points, Shawn Williams 16 and Jayden Gardner scored seven of his 13 points down the stretch as East Carolina held off defending conference champion Cincinnati 73-71 with the help of Justice Obasohan’s last-second block on Saturday.
Gardner tipped in a blocked shot, pushing East Carolina’s lead to 72-66 with 20.9 seconds left, but Justin Jennifer nailed a 3-pointer just three seconds later and Tre Scott made two free throws with six seconds to go, pulling the Bearcats to 73-71.
Cincinnati (12-3, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) got the ball back when ECU was whistled for a five-second violation, but Jarron Cumberland’s drive to tie with one second left was denied by Obasohan.
Cumberland led Cincinnati with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Nysier Brooks scored 15 and blocked three shots, Keith Williams added 13 and Scott 12.
Gardner pulled down 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season for the Pirates (8-6, 1-1) and coach Joe Dooley notched his first American Conference win.