American University broke an 18-game road losing streak tonight and surpassed its victory total of a year ago with a 79-62 ECAC South romp over East Carolina.

The Eagles, who had not won away from Fort Myer Gymnasium since Jan. 7, 1984, improved their league record to 2-8 and overall mark to 7-15. East Carolina has lost 11 straight, is 0-9 in the conference and stands 5-15 overall.

AU enjoyed a sizable rebounding advantage (47-31) over the taller Pirates and never trailed after taking the lead midway through the first half. Trailing, 19-14, with 11:23 to play, AU outscored the Pirates, 12-1, to assume a 26-20 lead. All five American players on the court shared in the scoring spree as the Eagles took advantage of East Carolina turnovers. AU held a 41-35 halftime lead.

Steve Nesmith led American in scoring with 20 points and Jim Lutz had 13 and a team-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Eric White scored six points early in the second half as the Eagles outscored East Carolina by 16-10 to move to a 57-45 margin with 10:24 to play.

With Curt Vanderhorst scoring 12 of his 14 points, East Carolina closed to 59-53 in vain.