The East Central University men’s basketball team dropped a 68-83 decision to Southern Nazarene in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (5-10, 2-7 GAC) were led by junior Colby Carr, tallied a career-best 31 points and added nine rebounds. Carr is the first ECU player since Jan. 4, 2010 to score 30 points in a single game when Eric Allen scored 31 at Southwestern Christian. Junior Shaq Burrell added 12 points for the Tigers.
“We started out the game strong,” said interim head coach Trey Hendon. “Then we got a little disarrayed by the pressure Southern Nazarene had. It was good to see the team fight back in the second half, but we just had some tough breaks down the stretch.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle for control of the scoreboard, with three ties and four lead changes. Both teams lead by as many as eight through the half, with the ECU’s lead coming with 8:37 remaining in the stanza. However, after that the Crimson Storm (9-6, 4-5 GAC) took over and used several runs to take a 34-42 advantage heading into the locker room.
The teams again traded points in the opening two minutes of the second half, but SNU then went on a 10-0 run over a three-minute span. The Crimson Storm kept pushing the momentum and lead by as many as 21 before the Tigers pushed back. With 12 minutes left to play, ECU held SNU to three-points from the free-throw line and tallied 13 of their own to cut the lead to 11 (55-66) over the next six minutes.
The Crimson Storm pushed the lead back to 15 with five minutes left and ECU fought back to cut the lead to nine with just under four minutes remaining on the clock. However, that was as close at the Tigers would get as SNU pushed back out to win 68-83.
Rebounding and shooting percentage was the key to the game, with the Crimson Storm earning advantages in both columns. SNU out-rebounded the Tigers 25-40 and then hit 52.6 percent of their shots while holding ECU to 39.7 percent.
The Tigers will return to the Kerr Activities Center after a week off to battle with arch rival Southeastern Oklahoma State, Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The game is a Blackout Game, with the first 200 fans receiving a free black t-shirt courtesy of Patriot Ford and Valley View Regional Hospital.