The East Central University men’s basketball team dropped a 59-65 decision to Northwestern Oklahoma State in the Kerr Activities Center in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (8-15, 5-12 GAC) were led by junior Chris Fisher, who tallied 23 points and six rebounds. Junior Henry Pwono added 10 points and six boards.
The first half was a battle for control of the scoreboard, with four tie scores and six lead changes. ECU was the first team to earn a lead larger than three points, with a 7-2 run over a two-minute span that gave them a 22-17 advantage. The Tigers kept pushing the momentum and expanded the lead out to 11 (33-22), with 2:58 left to play. The Rangers (12-01, 9-6 GAC) started a push of their own in the final three minutes, going on an 8-3 run to close the half trailing 36-30.
Northwestern came out ready to fight in the second half and went on a 10-0 run in the first six minutes to earn a 36-40 advantage. The Rangers kept pushing and claimed a six-point lead with 12 minutes left to play. However the Tigers pushed back and tied the game at 46, with a 6-0 run over the next three minutes.
The teams traded points over the next four minutes before a 4-0 run by Northwestern gave them the final advantage of the game, with four minutes remaining. The Tigers kept the game close until the final minute of action, when the Rangers took advantage of trips to the charity stripe to push the lead out to as many as eight before earning the 59-65 win.
While ECU went 8-for-17 from beyond the arc and held the Rangers to a 0-of-10 mark, Northwestern earned an advantage at the charity stripe. The Rangers went 21-of-28 from the stripe and sent the Tigers to the line just 20 times (making 13). Northwestern also earned a key 25-41 rebounding lead.
ECU will play a single game next week in the final game at the Kerr Activities Center for the 2012-13 season. The Tigers will host Southern Nazarene, Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. on the annual Senior Night.