GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Elijah Hughes had a career-high 19 points Wednesday night and East Carolina held South Florida to 17 first-half points on its way to a 60-49 win in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Hughes had 11 points before the break when East Carolina built a 34-17 lead. The Pirates (9-5) made 19 of 33 free throws in the second half and held on despite making 3 of 18 shots from the field in the same period. B.J. Tyson added 11 points.
Geno Thorpe led South Florida (6-6) with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The Bulls closed to 40-32 with 11:05 left in the game and didn't get closer despite four more times closing the deficit to eight.
East Carolina had its last field goal on Hughes' 3-pointer with 9:08 left and missed its final eight attempts from there.
South Florida made two of its final 15 field-goal attempts.