SWOSU overcomes poor shooting to beat ECU

Southwestern Oklahoma State shot just 32.1 percent from the field, but managed to convert 13 shots from long range, including eight from Kenneth White, as the Bulldogs upended the East Central University Tigers 69-59 Saturday in Lone Star Conference North men’s basketball play.

ECU, which fell to 6-15 overall and 1-4 in the LSC North, shot only 35.8 percent and only 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from 3-point land, despite the 17-point effort from sophomore Dontae Figgs, who tallied 11 in the second half. He was 7-of-15 from the floor.

SWOSU, 13-7 and 4-1, had three players reach double figures, led by White’s 24 as he was 8-of-21 from 3-point territory. He was joined in double digits by teammates Jerard Campbell and Clarke Hale with 16 and 13, respectively. Campbell also pulled down 16 rebounds for a double-double.

Also reaching double figures for the Tigers was Tyler Thetford with 13 points, including three treys, to go with four assists and a pair of steals. Justin Wilkerson followed with eight points and grabbed a whopping 17 rebounds in a losing effort. Cory Nicholson chipped in six points and snatched eight boards.

ECU won the rebounding battle, 54-48, but committed six more turnovers, 14-8. The Bulldogs did get 23 of their boards on the offensive end.

The Tigers went scoreless in the final 4:23 of the contest after John Qualls’ layup pulled ECU within 61-59. SWOSU then closed the game with an 8-0 run, which included a 6-of-7 effort from the free-throw line. Ironically, the Bulldogs missed their first five attempts from the charity stripe until that point.

The Tigers continue LSC North play Wednesday as they host Southeastern Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. in the Kerr Center in Ada. It will be ‘Hall of Fame Night’ as three new members – Dr. Tim Green, Harold Jones and Lloyd Waner - will be added to the ECU Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime.