1-16-08 - A gutsy comeback and effort came up a little short for the East Central University Lady Tigers as they dropped a 58-52 decision to Southwestern Oklahoma State Wednesday night in the Lone Star Conference North opener for both teams at Rankin Williams Fieldhouse.
ECU, which dropped to 9-6 overall and 0-1 in the LSC North, received a game-high 24 points from senior Lacey Goldwire.
However, the Bulldogs, led by a balanced scoring attack,, made enough defensive stops at the end while hitting their free throws in the process.
Kadee Carter, behind 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, led SWOSU with 13 points, Lucy Ramon followed with 12 points and Grace Ann Fath ended up with 10 as the Bulldogs improved to 10-6 and 1-0.
Goldwire sank 5-of-10 shots from the floor and was 3-of-5 from long range while nailing a perfect 11-of-11 free throws on the night. She also pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds and dished out a pair of assists.
The only other Lady Tiger to reach double figures was Kacey Thomas with 11. Thomas also collected five boards and recorded two steals. Carly Ballew was next on the ECU scoring list with five points and four rebounds.
ECU, which converted just 30.6 percent of its field-goal attempts, trailed by 11 in the first half and was down by nine at the break.
But the Lady Tigers made a game of it in the second half, snatching a 38-36 lead after a pair of Goldwire free shots with 13:54 to go. Two more Goldwire charity tosses made it 41-40 with 10:26 remaining.
ECU enjoyed a few other short-lived leads of 43-40 on a Kristie Dodgion layup, 45-43 off a Thomas layup and 49-48 after two Casi Rawls free throws with 5:33 left.
But a Carter 3-pointer put SWOSU on top for good at 51-49 with 3:04 left. The Bulldogs then connected on 6-of-8 free throws the rest of the way to keep the Lady Tigers at bay.
SWOSU shot 37 percent overall and was 65 percent (13-of-20) from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs also owned a 39-34 advantage on the boards.
SWOSU behind 46.2 percent shooting from the floor, built up a 35-26 halftime advantage as Fath knocked down two 3-pointers while Carter and Allie Burdan added one apiece. The Bulldogs were 4-of-11 from 3-point land in the opening 20 minutes.
Goldwire and Thomas topped the Lady Tigers at the break with eight points apiece. Goldwire canned 2-of-3 from long range while Thomas connected on 3-of-6 shots overall in the first stanza. ECU hit only 33 percent of its field-goal tries in the first half.
Ramon led SWOSU with seven points at the break while Fath and Jenna Sprague ended up with six each.
Each team committed just five turnovers while the Bulldogs had a 19-16 edge on the boards in the first half.
The Lady Tigers take on Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday in a 2 p.m. LSC North contest on Wayne Cobb Court inside the Kerr Activities Center.