American Athletic Conference Tournament Recaps

Mar 13, 2015 - 2:45 AM Hartford, CT ( - B.J. Taylor paced the Pirates with 19 points as the No. 8 seed East Carolina outlasted the ninth-seeded UCF Knights for an 81-80 overtime victory in the opening game of the American Athletic Conference Tournament at the XL Center.

Marshall Guilmette provided 18 points for ECU (14-18), which will play the top-seeded SMU Mustangs in the second round. Caleb White and Michael Nzege added 13 points apiece, with the latter also grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Paris Roberts-Campbell netted 11 points and Lance Tejada handed out eight assists for the Pirates.

B.J. Taylor poured in a game-high 22 points for the Knights (12-18), who ended their campaign on a five-game losing streak. Adonys Henriquez scored 17 points and Justin McBride recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Kasey Wilson chimed in with 11 points, while Brandon Goodwin tallied 10 points, nine boards and seven assists.

ECU got off to a great start and led, 32-15, with 5:25 remaining in the opening stanza. UCF responded with a 17-4 run to narrow the gap before going into the intermission trailing, 38-29. The Pirates assisted 10 of their 17 makes from the floor before the break.

The Knights battled back in the second period behind a 61.3 percent performance from the field, including a 6-of-12 clip from 3-point range. ECU held a 75-48 advantage on the scoreboard with 3:39 remaining, but the Knights refused to go away and narrowed the gap to two points before Wilson made a game-tying layup just before the buzzer.

Both sides struggled to score points in the overtime period. McBride opened up the scoring with a layup, but ECU answered with a 5-0 run. The Pirates were held scoreless for the final 3:31 of the contest, but managed to hang on and advance as the Knights endured a 3:05 scoring drought to conclude the game.

Final Score: Houston 66, Tulane 60

Hartford, CT ( - Jherrod Stiggers finished with 23 points as the 10th-seeded Houston Cougars defeated the seventh-seeded Tulane Green Wave, 66-60, in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament at the XL Center.

Cavon Baker provided a spark off the bench for the Cougars (13-18) with 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Devonta Pollard tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Houston, which will take on Tulsa in the quarterfinals.

Payton Henson paced Tulane (15-16) with 14 points, while Louis Dabney and Jay Hook netted 13 points apiece.

Houston took a 28-25 lead into the intermission after it connected on 6-of-13 tries from 3-point range in the opening period. The Green Wave were limited to 34.5 percent efficiency from the floor in the first half.

Tulane heated up to shoot 48.1 percent from the field after the break, but it converted only 5-of-12 shots at the charity stripe. The Cougars extended their lead in the second stanza by sinking 13-of-15 free-throw attempts after not making any trips to the charity stripe before halftime.

Despite the loss, Tulane outscored the Cougars, 22-16, in the paint.

Final Score: Connecticut 69, South Florida 43

Hartford, CT ( - Daniel Hamilton led No. 6 seed Connecticut with 20 points as the Huskies coasted to a 69-43 victory over the 11th-seeded South Florida Bulls in the first round of the American Athletic Tournament at the XL Center.

Rodney Purvis scored 13 points for UConn (18-13), which will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in the next stage of the tourney. Ryan Boatright added 12 points, while Amida Brimah provided nine points and rejected five shots on the defensive end.

Nehemias Morillo paced the Bulls (9-23) with 13 points, but also committed four of the team's 12 turnovers. Troy Holston, Jr. netted 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the field for USF, which ended its season with four losses in five games.

The Huskies dominated the opening stanza en route to a 29-14 halftime lead. UConn connected on 50 percent of its field goal attempts and limited the Bulls to 23.8 percent efficiency from the floor before the break.

USF heated up to sink 37 percent of its shots from the floor in the second half, but it had no answer for the Huskies' offense. UConn outscored the Bulls, 24-6, from 3-point range and hit on 58.3 percent of its field goal tries over the final 20 minutes of regulation to extend its lead.

UConn did a solid job on the interior on both ends to finish with a 20-10 edge in points in the paint.

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