Smith was 10 of 13 from the floor for Tulsa (9-6, 1-2 American). Rashad Ray added 11 points with three 3-pointers.
East Carolina was led by Kentrell Barkley with 10 points off the bench. The Pirates (8-7, 0-2) were limited to 29.8 percent shooting from the floor and just 2 of 16 from beyond the arc. They entered play shooting 43.7 percent this season and 35 percent on 3-pointers. Leading scorer B.J. Tyson (15.1 points) was held to eight points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Neither team started hot. Tulsa led 7-0 over the first 6:15 of the game as East Carolina missed its first five shots and committed six turnovers.
Tulsa closed the half on an 11-4 run and led 37-14 at the break.