The East Central University men’s basketball team will wrap up the 2013-14 regular season, Saturday, March 1 when the Tigers host Arkansas Tech at 4 p.m. in the Kerr Activities 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 Arkansas Tech
The Wonder Boys are 19-8 overall and 14-5 in the Great American Conference after winning their last three games. ATU will be playing for a share of the GAC regular-season title.
The Wonder boys have a +5.4 scoring and +1.6 rebound margin on the season, with their key advantage coming in shooting percentage. ATU has a .452 team overall shooting percentage, while its opponents have hit at a .410 mark.
ATU has two players that are averaging double-digit point totals that are still on the roster. Bobby Hattchett leads the team with 11.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Marshawn Arnold added 10.3 points and 4.4 boards per game, while shooting .652 from the field.
Against the Wonder Boys
In the last meeting with ATU, the Tigers earned a 94-78 win on the road. The teams combined for a GAC record 99 free throws in the game, with ECU going 39-of-55 and the Wonder Boys 27-of-44.
Junior Brandon Lucas led the Tigers with 27 points and eight boards, while redshirt freshman A.J. Moutry added 18 points.
Bobby Hatchett and Darrick Little lead the returners to the series, with 15 points each for ATU.
The all-time series with ATU dates back to 1957-58, with the Wonder Boys holding an 8-12 advantage.
The Tigers will be honoring their six seniors before the start of the game. ECU will see Chris Lee, Henry Pwono, Colby Carr, Chris Fisher, Shaq Burrell and Miles Mitchell in their final game at the Kerr Activities Center.
Career Night for Pwono
Senior Henry Pwono had the night of his career against Southeastern (Feb. 27). The Pittsburgh, Pa., native tallied career highs of 36 points and 15 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Pwono went 12-of-17 from the field and 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.
First in the GAC Tournament
The Tigers have gone from the lone team in the GAC to not participate in a post season tournament to being the first team to guarantee a spot in the 2013-14 GAC Tournament in Bentonville, Ark., March 6-9. ECU can finish between third and fourth in the standings depending on the outcome of Saturday’s games.
This is the first time since the 2002-03 season that an ECU team has advanced to a conference tournament. The Tigers first game is Thursday, March 6, with the remaining teams in the tournament heading to local schools to visit with elementary kids, Friday, March 7.
Moving to the Top
For the first time since the Tigers made the move to NCAA DII, ECU is sitting at the top of its conference standings. The Tigers made the move up to first after defeating Southern Arkansas and a loss by Southwestern Feb. 6.
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 was one of 43 nominees for the DII, DIII and NAIA section and the only member of the group from the Great American Conference.
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 51 games since he joined the Tigers in 2012-13.
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.
The Tigers will head to the Great American Conference Tournament, March 6-9, with their first game Thursday, March 6.