In a true rivalry game that saw seven tie scores and 11 lead changes, the East Central University men’s basketball team claimed a 64-59 win over arch rival Southeastern Oklahoma State at Boomer Sullivan Arena for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
The Tigers (10-6, 7-3 GAC) were led by senior Colby Carr, who tallied 13 points and added eight rebounds. Redshirt freshman A.J. Moutry tallied 12 points and junior Brandon Lucas contributed 11.
The first half started like a true rivalry game, with both teams trading baskets and leads for the first three minutes. After ECU was leading 7-6, with 16:55 left to play, the Savage Storm (4-10, 2-7 GAC) slowly built a five-point lead and held the advantage between two-five points for the next 15 minutes.
With 3:40 left on the clock in the first stanza, the Tigers started their come-back and used an 8-0 run to take a 33-30 advantage with a minute left to play. Southeastern tied the game at 33, with 36 seconds remaining, and the teams went to the locker room knotted at 33.
The second half was a continuation of the first with four ties in the first 10 minutes. However a triple by A.J. Moutry, with10:07 left to play, gave the Tigers their first four-point lead. The game was again tied at 51 and again ECU used a 4-0 run to gain the advantage (54-51). Neither team scored over the next two minutes, with Southeastern the first to break the slump and get within one (54-53).
ECU used a 5-0 run over the next two minutes to push the lead back to six (59-53). The Savage Storm followed with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to two, but another three by Moutry put the Tigers back up (62-57).
The Savage Storm gained two points at the free throw line in the final minute, but Fisher and Carr made two key free throws, with 20.6 left on the clock, to help give ECU the 64-59 win.
The teams were evenly matched shooting, with both recording a 39.6 overall shooting percentage. The Tigers earned the key advantage of the game at the free-throw line, where they went 15-of-23. ECU held Southeastern to a 10-of-22 mark from the charity stripe.
The Tigers will now return home for a Saturday, Jan. 25 match-up with Harding at the Kerr Activities Center. Game time is set for 4 p.m.