HARTFORD, Conn. – Kentrell Barkley had career highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead East Carolina to an 80-69 victory over Temple in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday.
Elijah Hughes added 17 points and Caleb White 11 for the ninth-seeded Pirates (15-17), who led wire-to-wire to advance to play top-seeded and No. 12-ranked SMU in a Friday quarterfinal. Barkley made three 3-pointers for ECU, which shot 51 percent overall and 48 percent from the arc (10 of 21).
Obi Enechionyia made four three-pointers and scored 20 points for the eighth-seeded Owls (16-16), who split their two regular-season games with the Pirates. Quinton Rose had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Shizz Alston Jr. added 11 points.
Deng Riak and Barkley hit three-pointers to start the game as ECU took a 36-29 halftime lead. The Owls got within one at 11:20 of the second half put the Pirates pulled away, a 15-5 run giving them a 15-point lead in the final minute.