Greenville -- Central Connecticut State shot over 57 percent from the field and 40 percent outside the arc to defeat ECU, 79-68, inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum Friday to earn its first win of the season and hand the Pirates consecutive non-conference home losses for the first time since 2011.
Central Connecticut State went on a 15-4 early in the second half to take a 52-43 lead with 11:53 remaining. Austin Nehls scored eight points during the surge, which started with him sinking his third 3 of the game. The closest ECU got was three, 62-59, with 6:08 remaining.
Senior B.J. Tyson scored 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting, knocking down four 3s. It was the most points he's scored in a game since dropping 19 on USF in the first round of the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship. He was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line with three assists and two steals in 34 minutes of action.
Tyler Kohl scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out nine assists, while playing all but two minutes. He finished 8-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-6 at the free throw line.
Kentrell Barkley also scored 19 points, going 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. Freshman Dimitri Spasojevic scored double figures for the first time as a Pirate, netting 13 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Barkley and junior Isaac Fleming each handed out four assists. Nehls scored a game-high 24 points to lead Central Connecticut and Deion Bute registered a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
"[CCSU] really slowed the game down. They knew we were a team that liked to run in transition and play up-tempo, especially on the misses. They had guys get back and be in the right place at the right time.Thye just slowed it down and played their game." - ECU guard B.J. Tyson
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
ECU was out-rebounded for the first time this season … After holding each of its first two opponents to less than 40 percent shooting, the Pirates allowed CCSU to shoot 57.7 percent … Barkley, Spasojevic and Tyson combined for 51 of the Pirates 68 points ... CCSU shot 64.9 percent (24-37) from inside the 3-point arc.
ECU returns to action Monday, Nov. 20, against Cleveland State inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.