GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Marvin Stone had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Reece Gaines added 22 points as No. 15 Louisville beat East Carolina 87-70 on Thursday night.
The Cardinals (11-1, 3-0 Conference USA) won their 10th straight and are off to their best start since the 1996-97 season. It was also their fourth road win, already surpassing last season's three.
Derrick Wiley had 21 points to lead East Carolina (10-4, 1-2), which had won its last five conference home games. The Pirates beat the Cardinals 87-77 exactly one year earlier to earn their first league win.
The Cardinals, however, took control of this game early and never let the Pirates mount any kind of charge.
Louisville went on a 17-1 run midway through the first half to take a double-digit lead it would not relinquish. The Cardinals, who led by as many as 31 in the second half, shot 58 percent against a Pirates squad that had been holding opponents to 38 percent shooting and 61 points per game.
Erroyl Bing added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Pirates, who shot 38 percent against the Cardinals' suffocating fullcourt defense.
East Carolina led 15-14 on two free throws from Bing with 11:54 left in the first half, but the Cardinals scored 15 unanswered points to key their big run. Kendall Dartez ended it with a layup for a 31-16 lead with 6:42 left in the half.
The Cardinals did it with balance, often penetrating into the East Carolina defense then passing to an open teammate. Ellis Myles scored two inside baskets, while Gaines added a 3-pointer and assisted on two close shots.
Louisville's defense forced the Pirates into nine straight misses during the run en route to a 45-26 halftime lead.
The Cardinals opened the second half with a 10-1 spurt. Gaines had a reverse layup and a jumper during the run, which ended with Taquan Dean's jumper from the right wing for a 55-27 lead with 17:12 to play.
Louisville took its largest lead at 65-34 on a dunk by Stone off a feed from Myles with 13:59 left. East Carolina rallied to 76-62 on a jumper from Wiley with about five minutes left, but the Pirates got no closer.