The East Central University women’s basketball team was battling with Northwestern Oklahoma State for the first time in 12 years and the teams gave the audience a great game, with the Lady Tigers earning a come-from-behind, 51-47, win at Percefull Fieldhouse in Great American Conference action.
“It was a hard fought game,” said head coach Kent Franz. “We trailed for most of the game and we didn’t play well in the first half. I don’t think that we play that much better in the second half, but we limited their second chance shots in the second half and that was a key difference. That allowed us to keep the game close and to find a way to earn the win.”
ECU moved to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in GAC action with the win. The win also gave the Lady Tigers their eighth-straight victory, the fifth on the road in 2012-13, and the 10th-straight over the Rangers (3-9, 2-4 GAC).
The Lady Tigers were led by sophomore Dilan Webster, who tallied her second double-double of the season. Webster tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Junior Ashley Robison added 12 points, as the second player in double digits in the scoring column.
ECU was the first to score in the opening stanza and took an early 2-0 lead after a minute of action. However, the advantage was short lived, as the Rangers went on a 6-0 run over the next two minutes to take the lead for the rest of the half. The Lady Tigers cut the lead to two, with 15:32 left to play, but Northwestern countered with a 10-2 run to push the lead to 10 (8-18). ECU continued to fight and used an 8-2 run of their own over the next four minutes to get within four (16-20).
The Lady Tigers kept the deficit between four-to-six points over the next six minutes and then went on a 5-2 run over the final two minutes, but still went to the locker room trailing 25-30.
The first four minutes of the second half were a back-and-forth battle, but it was ECU that garnered the first run of the half. The Lady Tigers used a 6-0 run to take their first lead since the opening minutes of the game, 36-35 with 14:20 left to play. Northwestern countered with a 6-0 run of its own over the next four minutes to regain a 36-41 advantage.
That is when ECU took control of the game, starting a 14-2 run that took the game clock down to 3:25 and gave the Lady Tigers a 50-43 lead. The Rangers scored four of the five points scored in the final three minutes of the game, but it was not enough, as ECU went on for the 51-47 win.
After allowing Northwestern to garner eight offensive rebounds in the first half, the Lady Tigers held them to just two in the second and rallied to take a 39-31 rebounding advantage for the game. The other key differences in the game were the overall shooting and free-throw shooting percentages. ECU shot 38.3 percent from the field (18-of-47), but allowed the Rangers to shoot just 29.8 percent (17-of-57) from the floor. The Lady Tigers also earned a 13-of-16 (81.3%) to 9-of-13 (69.2%) advantage at the charity stripe.
ECU will remain on the road for a game against Southwestern Oklahoma State, Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. in Weatherford, Okla.