The East Central University men’s basketball team remained in first-place in the Great American Conference standings, despite a 65-80 loss to Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center.
The Tigers (14-8, 11-5 GAC) were led by redshirt freshman A.J. Moutry, with 19 points and three rebounds. Junior Jefferson Ocoro added a career-high 12 points and seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs (13-8, 10-5 GAC) opened the first half strong, going on an 11-3 run in the first 6:30. However, the Tigers fought back and tied the game at 12, with 10:57 left on the clock. The game was then a back-and-forth battle until the final two minutes when SWOSU used a 4-2 run to take a 33-37 lead into the locker room.
The second was a continuation of the battle started in the first half, with ECU trailing by up to six points for the first 3:30. Over the next three minutes the Tigers pushed ahead with an 8-0 run to take a 49-46 lead. The teams traded points over the next four minutes before a 17-1 run over a 5:30 span gave SWOSU a 55-70 lead. While the teams played close to even in the final four minutes, the Tigers fell 65-80.
The Bulldogs took control of the game with a 51.1 (24-of-47) shooting percentage and held ECU to a 34.5 (19-of-55) mark from the field.
The Tigers will play the second of three-straight road games, Saturday, Feb. 15 when they travel to Alva, Okla., to battle with Northwestern Oklahoma State.