InsideTulsaSports - Tulsa picks up AAC road win with 65-49 victory over East Carolina
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Tulsa picks up AAC road win with 65-49 victory over East Carolina

Tulsa forward Brandon Rachal
Tulsa forward Brandon Rachal (AP Images)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Brandon Rachal had 21 points and Jeriah Horne added 14 points as Tulsa defeated East Carolina 65-49 on Wednesday night.

Martins Igbanu added eight points and 10 rebounds for Tulsa (11-6, 3-1 American Athletic Conference).

The game was tied at 30 at halftime and again at 34 with 17 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the second half before Tulsa went up 48-40 with 9:07 left. The Golden Hurricane scored 11 of the next 13 points to lead 59-42 with 4:21 remaining.

“We had to play seven or eight minutes there in the first half with Brandon (Rachal), Jeriah (Horne) and Martins (Igbanu) on the bench,” Tulsa head coach Frank Haith said. “Our guys held down the fort to finish the half out with the score tied. I know we had a lot of boost with those guys coming back in the second half.”

The Golden Hurricane dominated inside, scoring 36 points in the paint and made 20 of 39 field goal attempts inside the arc. Overall TU shot 43.4 percent, while holding the Pirates to 29.2 percent, their lowest of the season. East Carolina was held to 19 points in the second half while shooting 22 percent, including 0 for 15 from 3-point distance.

Jayden Gardner had 19 points for the Pirates (8-9, 2-2). Tristen Newton added six rebounds.

“I thought our defense was terrific,” Haith said. “Gardner had 19 – he had to work for them – but he had 14 (on) free throws. I thought we did a great job on him.”

Tulsa plays at Tulane on Saturday.