GREENEVILLE, S.C. (AP)RJ Felton scored 21 points shooting 8 for 13 and East Carolina beat South Carolina 64-56 in the inaugural Greeneville Winter Invitational on Saturday.
East Carolina (8-4) has won three of its last four following a two-game losing streak. South Carolina (5-6) has dropped back-to-back games and has fallen below .500 for the third time this season.
The Pirates built a 12-0 lead and never trailed. Felton made 3-pointers 20 seconds apart for a 23-10 lead nine minutes before halftime. East Carolina had seven 3-pointers en route to a 37-18 halftime advantage.
Ezra Ausar threw down a dunk to give East Carolina a 42-22 lead before the Gamecocks closed to within 12 on an 8-0 run. Meechie Johnson’s layup with 4:01 left brought South Carolina within 53-46 but it couldn’t get closer.
Javon Small scored 12 points for East Carolina which finished shooting 22 for 44.
Hayden Brown scored 15 points for South Carolina and Gregory Jackson II and Johnson each scored 13.
The two teams have now split the 12 games played in the series. The last meeting between the two occurred on Dec. 20, 2004, when the Gamecocks earned a 57-53 win. Prior to Saturday, the Pirates last defeated the Gamecocks on Dec. 19, 1998, a 56-34 victory.
East Carolina is now 7-21 all-time against teams from the SEC. Entering Saturday, the last time ECU defeated an SEC opponent was during the 2002-03 season, a 65-58 win over Ole Miss.
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