Pirates open 2020 with win

East Carolina improved to 7-8 with a 62-59 win over 8-8 University of South Florida.  The Pirates are now 1-1 in conference play with SMU visiting for a nationally broadcast contest on Saturday.  ECU lead 51-38 after going 9 of 11 from the floor to start the second half, before USF outscored the Pirates 11-4 to pull within 55-49 with 7:49 to play.  The last minute of the game was intense as a David Collins layup pulled USF within 59-60 before two Tristen Newton free throws gave ECU the final 3-point margin with 15 seconds remaining.  Collins was able to get off two 3-point shots int he last 12 seconds, missing on the first, and having the second shot negated by a perfectly timed Jayden Gardner block.