The East Central University men’s basketball team will hit the road for the first of two-straight games in Arkadelphia, Ark., Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. against Henderson State at the Duke Wells Center.
ECU’s radio home for Tigers basketball in 2012-13 is Ada’s KXFC, 105.5, FM ‘The X-Factor’. Kenny Morrison returns to broadcast the games for his 17th season. Morrison, a 1987 ECU graduate, spent two seasons doing color prior to taking over the play-by-play duties during the 1997-98 season.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) and the KXFC radio broadcast on ECUTigers.com. Go to the men’s basketball schedule page. Fans can listen to the radio broadcast online or through the FREE KXFC App available in ITunes, Google Stores where apps are sold and www.kxfcradio.com.
Scouting Henderson State
The Reddies are 8-11 overall and 4-7 in the Great American Conference after losing their last two outings.
HSU has a -0.2 scoring and +1.6 rebounding average on the season, but has advantages in shooting percentage (.470 to .446). The second half has been worse for the Reddies, who have allowed 109 more points against them in the second.
While the Reddies have a -0.2 scoring margin for the season, they have five players that are averaging double-digits in the point’s column. Deoirvay Johnson leads the team with 13.4 points, while Melvin Haynes adds 13.1. Taylor Smith has contributed 11.1 points. Ronald Lawson and Reggie Murphy are both solid contributors scoring and on the glass. Lawson has 10.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while Murphy adds 10.3 points and 5.9 boards.
Against the Reddies
In the first meeting of the season, Henderson State stole a 67-75 victory at the Kerr Activities Center, on the back of a 35-50 rebounding margin.
Redshirt freshman A.J. Moutry led the Tigers with 15 points and three rebounds, while senior Colby Carr added 12 points and four boards.
Melvin Haynes and Reggie Murphy were the top producers for HSU. Haynes tallied 15 points, while Murphy added 14 points and nine boards.
Thursday’s game will be the 16th meeting in the all-time series, which the Reddies hold a 9-6 advantage after claiming wins in the last five games.
Making a Statement
The Tigers had a strong showing against Southwestern Adventist, scoring 122 points. The number was the most in school history, with the previous high being 117. It was also the first time since Jan. 7, 2010 that ECU had scored 100+ points in a game when they fell 104-128.
ECU finished the first portion of the 2013-14 season with a 6-4 record, marking the first time since 2007-08 that the Tigers were above .500 at the holiday break. They started 2007-08 with a 6-3 mark and finished 14-13 overall.
With the 62-61 overtime win over Southern Nazarene, the Tigers also surpassed their win total from the 2013-14 season, with nine. ECU also moved to 6-3 in the GAC, one more win in the conference than a season ago.
Winning the Unwinnable Road Trip
The Tigers had a great conference road trip, winning at both Harding and Arkansas Tech. ECU defeated Harding 93-83 and ATU 94-78. The wins made the Tigers the first team from the GAC to earn wins at both Harding and ATU in league history.
Lucas Earns GAC Weekly Honors
Junior Brandon Lucas has been named the Great American Conference Player of the Week for Dec. 9 after helping the Tigers earn two big road wins at Harding and Arkansas Tech last weekend.
Lucas led the Tigers to road victories at Harding and ATU as they became the first program in GAC history to pull off that weekend sweep. He averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two contests. He shot 68.2 percent from the floor, going 15-for-22 and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He went 8-for-9 in the win at Harding.
Abundant Free Throws
Free throws became a large part of the Tigers win against the Wonder Boys, as both teams combined for 99 free throws in the game. ECU went 39-of-55 and ATU was 27-of-44 for the game. The 99 combined free throws set at GAC record. The old record was 81 set by Arkansas Tech (45) and Southwestern (36), Jan. 12, 2012.
Mitchell Up for Good Works Team
Senior Miles Mitchell was recently named a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Mitchell is one of 43 nominees for the DII, DIII and NAIA section and the only member of the group from the Great American Conference. The team will be announced in February and will consist of five student-athletes from the group of 43.
Making a Difference Off the Court
On the court is not the only place that you can find a member of ECU men’s basketball team this season. Since head coach Ja Havens has taken over the program the Tigers have renewed their commitment to community service. ECU has been a part of several community service projects since the start of the school year, with an emphasis on youth events. The Tigers have been to several elementary and middle schools in the area to read with the students and to get to know their younger fans.
A coaching change did not stop senior Colby Carr from continuing his consistent performances on the court. Carr has recorded at least one point and one rebound in all 43 games since he joined the Tigers in 2012-13. The New Orleans, La., native is also not afraid to share the ball, dishing out an assists in the last 32 games for ECU.
Starting Out on the Right Path
For the first time since joining the GAC, the Tigers picked up a win in their first conference game of the season when they defeated Ouachita Baptist 81-54.
Tigers Picked to Finish 10th
The Tigers were picked to finish 10th in the Great American Conference in the 2013-14 GAC Preseason Poll as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
ECU received 28 points in the poll and were above Southern Arkansas, with 22 points.
The Tigers will wrap up their stay in Arkadelphia, Ark., with a Saturday, Feb. 1 meeting with Ouachita Baptist at 4 p.m.