For the first time in 10 games the East Central University women’s basketball team did not come out on top and broke a nine-game winning streak, with a 60-73 loss at Southern Nazarene in Great American Conference play.
The Lady Tigers (12-3, 7-2 GAC) were led by junior Ashley Robison who garnered a season-best 15 points and added five rebounds. Sophomore Dilan Webster added 10 points and seven boards.
“I thought Southern Nazarene outplayed us from start to finish,” said head coach Kent Franz. “They played harder, smarter and were more aggressive. We didn’t hit the floor with the same urgency as we have been playing with and that is my fault. It is my job to make sure they understand the urgency of each of the games that we play.”
The Crimson Storm (8-7, 5-4 GAC) opened up the scoring in the first half with an 8-3 run in the first four minutes. The Lady Tigers went on a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to take a short 10-8 advantage, but SNU countered with a 7-0 run of its own to lead 11-15. The teams kept it close for the rest of the half, with each using runs to either gain or cut down on a lead, but it was a 7-0 run in the middle of the stanza that allowed the Crimson Storm to hold an advantage throughout the rest of the half. ECU went into the locker room trailing 32-37.
The Lady Tigers started the second half strong, closing the gap with a 5-0 run in the first minute of the stanza. However, SNU followed with a 9-0 run on three’s to take a 46-37 lead. The Crimson Strom added another 11-0 run until the middle of the stanza to push its lead out to 39-57.
With just under 11 minutes left to play senior Regan Browne scored the first five points of an ECU 13-2 run that cut the lead to seven (52-59), with 6:20 left to play. But that was as close as the Crimson Storm would allow the Lady Tigers to get, as they countered with a 6-2 run of their own over the next four minutes to regain a double-digit lead and go on to win 60-73.
Rebounding became the key to the game, as both teams shot under 40 percent for the game. The Crimson Storm earned a 35-48 advantage in the rebounding column. They also took better advantage of their 8-12 offensive rebounds lead by scoring 15 second-chance points to the Lady Tigers two.
ECU will return home to battle with arch rival Southeastern Oklahoma State, Thursday, Jan. 24 after having a week off from competition. The game is set to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Kerr Activities Center and is a Blackout game. The first 200 fans will receive a free black t-shirt complements of Patriot Ford and Valley View Regional Hospital.