College Basketball Roundup: ECU bounced in AAC opening round

East Carolina Basketball

FORT WORTH, Texas — Darius Perry registered 15 points as sixth-seeded Central Florida got past 11th-seeded East Carolina 72-62 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday night.

Avery Diggs had 12 points for Central Florida (11-11), which advanced to a Friday matchup against No. 3 seed Memphis in the quarterfinals on Friday. Darin Green Jr. added 12 points. Brandon Mahan had 10 points.

Jayden Gardner had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pirates (8-11). Brandon Suggs added 14 points. Tristen Newton had 13 points and six assists.

Norfolk State 87, NC Central 58

Mid-Eastern Conference Tournament

NORFOLK, Va. — Joe Bryant Jr. scored a career-high 30 points as Norfolk State rolled past North Carolina Central 87-58 in the Mid-Eastern Conference Tourney quarterfinals on Thursday night.

The win sends the Spartans directly to Saturday’s championship game as their semifinal opponent, top-seeded North Carolina A&T, was forced to withdraw from the tournament because of a positive COVID-19 test within its program.

Bryant shot 7 for 10 on 3-pointers and Norfolk State opened the game with a barrage of treys, jumping out to a 17-0 lead.

Kashaun Hicks had 13 points for Norfolk State (15-7). Devante Carter added 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Chris Ford had eight rebounds.

C.J. Keyser had 19 points for the Eagles (5-9). Deven Palmer added 14 points and seven rebounds.