For the first time since joining the Great American Conference three seasons ago, the East Central University men’s basketball team started the league season off with a win, after defeating Ouachita Baptist, 81-54, at the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers (2-2, 1-0 GAC) saw three players with double-digit scoring totals. Junior Brandon Lucas led the team with 26 points, five rebounds and assist, while going 9-of-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. Senior Colby Carr added 17 points, while senior Henry Pwono tallied 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The teams started the game with a close battle for control in the opening four minutes. The score was tied at eight when ECU went on a 7-0 run to take a 15-8 advantage. ECU kept the lead in single digits until 2:30 remained in the first half. That is when they used another 7-0 run to push the advantage to 14 (40-26) and went into the locker room with a 44-30 lead.
ECU pushed the lead out to 19 in the first two minutes of the second stanza before OBU (2-3, 0-1 GAC) was able to cut the lead down to eight early in the second half. That was as close as they would get, as ECU quickly rebuilt the advantage to double digits and lead by as many as 29 on the way to the 81-54 win.
OBU earned a 32-42 rebounding advantage, but ECU took better advantage of their 12 offensive rebounds, scoring 15 second-chance points. ECU also had a strong defensive advantage, forcing 25 turnovers and recording 14 steals to 9 turnovers forced by OBU, with six steals. ECU tallied 33 points off those turnovers and only allowed OBU to garner 11 off theirs.
The Tigers will remain at home for a Saturday, Nov. 23 GAC game against Henderson State at 4 p.m. The game is the final home game before Dec. 20 when ECU hosts Southwestern Adventist for an 11 a.m. start.
Women’s Basketball Earns 63-55 Win Over Ouachita Baptist
ADA – The East Central University women’s basketball team extended their record to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Great American Conference, with a 63-55 win over Ouachita Baptist in the Kerr Activities Center.
The Lady Tigers (4-0, 1-0 GAC) were paced by senior Alycea Price and junior Ashleigh Kelman-Poto, who both tallied double-doubles. Price earned her third-straight with 10 rebounds and 13 points, while Kelman-Poto tallied her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
The game started out close with both teams fighting for control over the first five minutes. The score was knotted at nine, when a 4-0 ECU run over a two-minute span gave them the lead (15-9). The game remained close over the next seven minutes before a 7-0 run by the Lady Tigers pushed ECU out to a 26-14 advantage. OBU cut the deficit to six in the final minutes of the stanza, but ECU had the lead back to double-digits at the break, 33-22.
OBU came out strong in the first four minutes of the second half, using a 7-2 run to cut the lead to six (35-29). While the teams battled for the next three minutes, ECU used a 6-0 run to take control for good and earn a 46-36 lead. ECU kept the advantage between seven and 13 points the rest of the game and claimed the 63-55 win.
Both teams shot 32 percent from the floor and below 20 percent from three point range for the game, with the key difference coming in the rebounding column. ECU garnered a 58 to 34 lead in overall boards and an 18-7 mark on the offensive glass.
The Lady Tigers will return to action, Saturday, Nov. 23 when they host Henderson State at 2 p.m. The game is the final of five-straight home games to open the 2013-14 season for ECU.