Southern Arkansas outscored East Central University 11-4 in the final 2:50 of the game as the Lady Muleriders knocked off the Lady Tigers 74-71 Thursday night in Great American Conference women’s basketball action at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center.
It was the first win of the season for SAU, which improved to 1-13 overall and 1-3 in the GAC. ECU, coming off a thrilling 74-65 home victory over previously top-ranked Arkansas Tech on Saturday, dropped to 3-12 and 1-4 with Thursday’s loss.
The Lady Tigers held a 67-63 advantage after two Fanta Toure free throws with 3:16 remaining. But ECU had two turnovers and managed just one field goal and two free shots the rest of the way.
SAU broke a 69-all deadlock on two Shanece Black free shots with 50 seconds left. After a missed shot on the other end, the Lady Muleriders’ Kmaria Hobbs sank two charity tosses with 19 seconds to go to make it a critical two possession game at 73-69.
Kodi Morrison hit a layup for the Lady Tigers on the other end to cut the deficit to 73-71.
ECU had a chance for the tie when Hobbs hit only the first of two shots, but a 3-point attempt by Ashley Robison on the other end came up short in the waning seconds.
Freshman forward Dilan Webster and Toure, a junior forward, led the Lady Tigers with 17 points apiece. Webster converted 6-of-11 shots from the floor and 5-of-6 free throws to go with seven rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal. Toure, off the bench, was 7-of-10 shooting and four boards. Toure tallied 15 of her points in the final 20 minutes on 6-of-7 shooting.
Robison finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while junior guard Jourdan Clark also ended up with 12 points, three assists and three steals before fouling out late. Clark connected on 4-of-7 field-goal tries and was 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Shenelda Levingston topped SAU with a game-high 22 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds as she connected on 9-of-18 field-goal attempts to go with a 4-of-4 effort from the free-throw line.
Hobbs followed with 15 points, Black added 14 and Katherine McBride ended up with 12 for the Lady Muleriders, who shot just 39.7 percent for the game, but hit at a 45.2 percent pace in the second half. SAU also knocked down 21-of-27 free throws (77.8 percent).
The Lady Tigers shot 45.6 percent from the field for the game, including 62.5 percent in the second half. But the Lady Tigers were only 2-of-11 from 3-point land (18.2 percent), had two more turnovers (16-14) and were outrebounded by a slim 39-36 margin.
ECU will try to get back into the win column on Saturday as it visits Arkansas-Monticello for a 2 p.m. GAC contest in Monticello, Ark.