The No. 2 East Central University women’s basketball team advanced to the Great American Conference Tournament Semifinals with a 67-57 win over Southern Arkansas at Bruin Fieldhouse in the opening round of action.
The Lady Tigers (19-8) were led by senior Ashley Robison, who tallied her second double-double of the season, with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Dilan Webster added 17 points, while senior Alycea Price and junior Erin Walling each garnered 10 points.
The first half was a tight battle, with eight ties and nine lead changes that ended with a tie score. The Lady Muleriders (12-15) opened the half with a 3-0 run in the first two minutes, but ECU quickly tied the game at five.
Both teams traded runs throughout the half and no team lead by more than four points. SAU hit the final shot of the half with 23 seconds on the clock and the Lady Tigers had two chances to take a lead into the locker room, but were unable to get their shots to fall and saw a 34-all score on the board at the intermission.
The first five minutes of the second half were the same as the first, with three more ties and two lead changes. However, it was the Lady Tigers that used a 14-1 run over a six-minute span to take a 54-41 lead and control of the momentum.
SAU followed with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the deficit to four (56-52), but ECU fought back to an eight points lead over the next two minutes and held on for the 67-57 victory.
ECU earned a slight advantage in the rebounding column at 46-42 and had a slight lead in overall shooting percentage (35.4 to 32.8). The game came down to 23 to 19 made shots overall and a six to two lead in made three-pointers by the Lady Tigers.
ECU will move on to face No. 3 Southwestern Oklahoma State, Saturday, March 8 at 5:45 p.m. in the first semifinal of the day.