ECU begins basketball season with loss to Oklahoma State

11-6-07 - The East Central Tigers fell victim to the explosiveness of the Oklahoma State Cowboys Tuesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

OSU shot 51 percent from the floor as 6-6 freshman James Anderson popped in a game-leading 28 points as the Cowboys corralled the Tigers 98-48 in an exhibition game.

ECU, playing its first exhibition game of the year, was led by sophomore Justin Wilkerson’s 11 points as he canned 4-of-8 shots from the floor. James Reynolds followed with nine points while Don Riley and Ian Adams chipped in eight points apiece.

“The effort was really good. We just weren’t ready for their pressure,” said ECU head coach Terry Shannon. “In the second half, we were better defensively. We were pleased with our effort. As long as we get that, we’ve got a chance to win in our league. ‘

The Tigers, who had 21 first-half turnovers, ended up with just eight in the second half.

“I was pleased that we cut our turnovers in the second half,” Shannon said.

Another positive that ECU could take is that it was out-rebounded by only a 42-38 margin by the taller and more athletic Cowboys as Adams led the way with seven to go along with three blocked shots.

Anderson drilled 11-of-17 shots from the field for the Pokes, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Marcus Dove and Obi Muonelo followed with 17 points apiece for the hosts. Muonelo was 5-of-9 from long range and Dove also pulled down 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Terrel Harris chipped in 12 points.

The Tigers fell into a 55-17 halftime hole with 19 turnovers against the Cowboys’ pressure while shooting just 28 percent from the floor.

OSU’s trio of Dove, Muonelo and Anderson had 11 points apiece at the break to pace a balanced attack as the Cowboys shot 56 percent from the field while committing just three turnovers.

Adams’ six points led ECU in the first half.

ECU plays its second straight Division I opponent in Denver University Thursday (Nov. 8) at 4:30 p.m. in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the University of Oklahoma’s Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.