By AARON BEARD AP Basketball Writer

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP)– Jayden Gardner had 21 points and 15 rebounds to assist East Carolina stun fifth-ranked Houston 82-73 on Wednesday night, securing the Pirates’ first win versus a ranked opponent in nearly two years.

Tremont Robinson-White added 17 points for East Carolina, which defied season-long offensive resist among the country’s leading protective teams. East Carolina shot 47% and made 11 of 24 3-pointers– and more impressively, the Pirates led for the last 12-plus minutes versus a Houston group that had a hard time to make much of anything after halftime.

East Carolina (8-6, 2-6 American Athletic Conference) hadn’t won a video game in more than a month between five straight losses and 3 posts ponement. However the Pirates found an extraordinary way to end a 33-game losing streak against AP Top 25 groups, though it featured no fans to storm the court in celebration and just a limited variety of guests in Minges Coliseum due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Houston (15-2, 10-2) can be found in as KenPom’s No. 2-ranked defense, enabling 86 points per 100 ownerships, while likewise ranking as one of the nation’s top rebounding teams. But the Cougars didn’t do much to hold down the Pirates in either classification while their offense sputtered.

DeJon Jarreau matched his profession high with 25 indicate lead the Cougars, who had actually won 9 straight meetings dating to 2015, including wins by double-digit margins on ECU’s house flooring in each of the past four seasons. But top scorer Quentin Grimes had a hard time to just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting.

BROAD VIEW

Houston: The Cougars moved to No. 5 in Monday’s most current AP Leading 25, marking their 2nd stint there this season. That’s the program’s greatest ranking given that the 1983-84 season that ended with the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Cougars reaching the NCAA title video game. They had likewise won all 8 of their games considering that the start of 2021. But they made simply 8 of 31 shots after halftime (25.8%) while finishing with a 37-36 rebounding edge.

ECU: East Carolina had not won given that beating Tulane at home on Dec. 22. And the Pirates hadn’t beaten a ranked group given that disturbing a Dwyane Wade-led Marquette group ranked 13th in December 2002. Those skids are over.

UP NEXT

Houston: The Cougars host NAIA program Our Lady of the Lake on Saturday, a video game contributed to the schedule Wednesday. Houston then returns to AAC play by visiting South Florida next Wednesday.

ECU: The Pirates see Memphis on Saturday.

More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP– Top25

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