East Carolina snapped a 35-game losing streak against opponents ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 with a shocking upset of No. 5 Houston Wednesday night.
Jayden Gardner led the Pirates with 21 points and 15 rebounds in the 82-73 victory. Tremont Robinson-White added 17 points as East Carolina led the game for the final 12 minutes of the game.
“That’s the best win ever. Just letting that sink in that, we just beat a top-5 team in the country. That’s very surreal, that’s stuff you dream about — beating anybody ranked, really,” Gardner said.
The game was played with a limited number of attendees at the Minges Coliseum due to coronavirus restrictions.
“I think they’re starting to get used to it,” Pirates coach Joe Dooley told reporters after the game. “I think it would have been nice for our fans to be share that now, I do say. … But I’ve got to give the credit to kids throughout the country, the credit for lining up and doing this this year.”
The 35-game losing streak against ranked opponents dates back nearly two decades. East Carolina picked up its eighth win of the season and added to their tournament resume.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said the team didn’t play Cougar basketball.
“At the end of the day, you know what it is,” Sampson added. “It comes down to the coach, man. The coach has got to do a better job of getting his team ready to play.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.