The East Central University women’s basketball team will start the second half of the Great American Conference season with a strong opponent in No. 6 Harding. Game time is set for 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Kerr Activities Center.
ECU’s radio home for Lady Tigers basketball in 2013-14 is Ada’s KXFC, 105.5, FM ‘The X-Factor’. Kenny Morrison returns to broadcast the games for his 17th season. Morrison, a 1987 ECU graduate, spent two seasons doing color prior to taking over the play-by-play duties during the 1997-98 season.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) and the KXFC radio broadcast on ECUTigers.com. Go to the women’s basketball schedule page. Fans can listen to the radio broadcast online or through the FREE KXFC App available in ITunes, Google Stores where apps are sold and www.kxfcradio.com.
The Lady Bisons have moved up to No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports Coaches’ Poll after they are still undefeated at 18-0 overall and 10-0 in league action.
Harding is averaging wins of +20.8 points this season, with only three games having been won by single digits. The Lady Bisons also have a +6.5 rebounding and +5.0 turnover margin on the season. They have a clear .453 to .372 shooting percentage advantage, including a .388 to .276 mark from beyond the arc.
Harding has two players that are averaging double-digits in the point’s column and another four between 7-9 points. Kirsten Celsor leads the team with 18.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while shooting .526 from the field and adding 25 assists, 19 blocks and 33 steals. Shana Holmes is the other player in double-digits, with 13.3 points per game. She is shooting at a .471 overall mark and .367 from beyond the arc, with 28 assists and 32 steals.
Against the Lady Bisons
In the first meeting during the 2013-14 season, Harding earned a 45-81 victory after forcing a 15-40 score at the end of the first half.
Senior Alycea Price led the Lady Tigers with nine points and three assists, while redshirt freshman Jalyn Jackson added 10 rebounds (6-4) and two blocks.
Shana Holmes led the Lady Bisons with 22 points, while Kristen Celsor added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, while shooting .777 from the field.
After the win at home earlier this season, Harding took a slight 6-5 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to Jan. 24, 1998. The Lady Bisons have earned wins in the last two games of the series, but ECU earned the last win at the Kerr Activities Center.
Tucker Chiming In
Senior Alex Tucker has started all 16 games this season for the Lady Tigers and was a key disher of assists until the game at Southeastern Oklahoma State. Tucker stepped up her game and tallied a career-best 15 points, while adding one rebounds, two assists and one block and steal.
Jackson Grabbing the Boards
Redshirt freshman Jalyn Jackson has been pulling in the rebounds for the Lady Tigers this season, recording 10 or more rebounds in four games so far. The Oklahoma City, Okla., native had a career-best 17 boards at Southern Arkansas, which included 11 offensive boards. She also added 17 against Southwestern (12 offensive), 10 at Harding (six offense) and 10 against Northwestern (eight offense).
Garza Making A Splash
Redshirt junior Janee Garza had an outstanding game for the Lady Tigers against Southern Arkansas. The Murphy, Texas, native tallied a career-high 15 points, hitting 5-of-11 shots from beyond the arc.
Junior Erin Walling has been improving all season and had one of the best games of her career against the Evangels. Walling tallied a career-high 22 points, with career-highs of six field goals and seven free throws.
Robison Crashing the Glass
Senior Ashley Robison had a strong rebounding effort against Mid-American Christian. The Tulsa, Okla., native tallied a career-best 18 rebounds, two offensive and 16 defensive. Robison also added 10 points for her first double-double of the season.
The Lady Tigers started 4-0, marking the third time ECU has started 4-0. The last time was 1989-90. The Lady Tigers have started a season 4-0 twice (1989-90/1987-88), 5-0 in 2001-02 and 7-0 twice (1995-96/1984-85).
Home Sweet Home
The Kerr Activities Center was very busy in November, with the Lady Tigers hosting the first five games of the season at home. This marks the first time since 1984-85 that ECU has played five-straight home games to start a season. That season, the Lady Tigers went 7-0 to start, while ECU is already 3-0 in 2013-14.
Lady Tigers Picked Fourth in the GAC
After finishing fifth in the Great American Conference standings in 2012-13, ECU has been picked to finish fourth in the 2013-14 GAC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
The Lady Tigers earned 69 points in the poll. ECU improved by 11 wins in 2012-13 in going 19-9. Second-Team All-GAC forward Dilan Webster averaged 14.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in league games last season. Ashley Robison and Alycea Price also averaged at least 7.0 rebounds per game in GAC games.
The Lady Tigers will hit the road to end the month of January and start their February slate of games. ECU makes the trip to Arkadelphia, Ark. to face Henderson State (Jan. 30) and Ouachita Baptist (Feb. 1).