In the first overtime game of the 2013-14 season, the East Central University women’s basketball team dropped an 83-84 decision at Southern Arkansas in Great American Conference action.
The Lady Tigers (7-5, 2-4 GAC) were paced by seniors Alycea Price and Ashley Robison. Price tallied 17 points and five rebounds, while Robison added 16 points and six boards. The duo accounted for two of the five ECU players in double-digits in the scoring column; with junior Janee Garza adding 15 points, junior Dilan Webster 12 and junior Taylor Fischer 11. Redshirt freshman Jalyn Jackson added a career-best 17 rebounds, including 11 offensive.
The opening half was a tight battle for most of the 20 minutes. Both teams traded runs in the opening five minutes, which resulted in an 11-all tie with 14:44 remaining. ECU then used a 16-4 run over the next three minutes to take the first large lead of the game, 27-15.
The Lady Tigers continued to push and had built their lead out to 17 (41-24), with 6:54 left to play in the first half. However, the Lade Muleriders (7-4, 3-2 GAC) were not going to go quietly and used a 16-5 run over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to four (46-42). The teams then traded points in the final minute of the stanza and ECU went into the locker room with a 49-45 advantage.
The Lady Tigers started the second half with a strong performance, building their lead back up to 13 points, with 14:35 left on the clock. However that is when the Lady Muleriders went on their first run of the stanza, adding six points to their total over the next five minutes. SAU added a second 11-0 run from eight minute mark to 3:45 remaining to regain the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the first half, 73-74.
ECU followed with a 4-0 run to go back up 77-74, but then both team’s defenses kicked up. ECU scored just two points in the final 2:50 and the Lady Muleriders used a 5-2 run to force a tie at 79, with 9.1 seconds left on the clock. That is how regulation would end, despite a final shot from Price that just missed the target as the clock ran out.
In overtime, the game remained close, with just a total of nine points scored by both teams. With just under a minute remaining SAU hit a jumper to take an 83-84 lead. The Lady Tigers had four chances, with three offensive rebounds in the final seconds to earn the win, but were unable to find the mark and fell 83-84.
Shooting percentages became a key difference in the game. ECU shot 44.2 percent in the first half and then just 34.5 in the second and 25 percent in the extra stanza. In contrast, the Lady Muleriders hit 53.6 percent of their first-half shots, 48.4 percent in the second and 40 percent in overtime. The Lady Tigers did earn a key advantage on the glass, out-rebounding SAU 53-35 and 28-11 on the offensive side.
ECU will now return home to start a three-game home stand, Thursday, Jan. 9 when they host Northwestern Oklahoma State at the Kerr Activities Center at 5:30 p.m.