The East Central University women’s basketball team dropped a 51-72 Great American Conference decision to Harding at Rhodes Fieldhouse.
The Lady Tigers (13-4, 8-3 GAC) were led by sophomore Dilan Webster who garnered 18 points and four rebounds, while senior Kodi Morrison added 13 points and six rebounds.
“Harding is a tough place to play and we just didn’t play well enough to earn the win today,” said head coach Kent Franz. “I felt like they were more physical from start to finish. We had our chance toward the end of the first half to get back in the game, but you can’t win when you are careless with the basketball.”
The first half opened with a tight battle for control of the scoreboard, with five tie scores in the first five minutes of action. With the score knotted at 11 and 15:27 left to play, the Lady Bisons (12-5, 8-3 GAC) started a 21-2 run over a seven-minute span that pushed them out to a 13-32 lead. The Lady Tigers followed with a 13-0 run over the next seven minutes that cut the deficit to eight (26-32). However, Harding scored the final five points of the stanza to go into the locker room with a 26-37 advantage.
The teams resumed the back-and-forth battle in the second half through the first nine minutes. Harding used a 7-0 run to push the lead out to 16 and added another 15-0 run late in the half to help secure the 51-72 win.
ECU struggled with field-goal percentage and turnovers during the game. The Lady Tigers made 35.2 percent of their shots, while Harding hit 43.1 percent. ECU also was on the wrong side of a 17-7 turnover margin.
The Lady Tigers will now return home for two games next week at the Kerr Activities Center. ECU will first host Henderson State, Thursday, Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and then battle with Ouachita Baptist, Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. Saturday’s game is the annual Hall of Fame night.