The East Central University men’s basketball team dropped a 69-83 decision at the Sawyer Center to Southern Nazarene in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (14-10, 11-7 GAC) were led by junior Brandon Lucas, who was one of five ECU players in double digits in the points column. Lucas tallied 16 points and added three rebounds. Senior Henry Pwono tallied 12 points and contributed a team-high nine rebounds.
The first half opened with a 7-1 Crimson Storm (13-10, 11-6 GAC) run before ECU scored its first field goal of the half. The Tigers kept fighting throughout the stanza, but saw the deficit reach as many as 20 points and went into the locker room trailing 30-50.
The second half was a closer battle through the first six minutes. The Tigers then pushed the tempo of the game, going on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes and cut the disadvantage to 47-58. However, SNU followed with a 7-0 run of its own to remain an 18-point lead, with seven minutes left on the clock.
The teams traded points over the next 4:30 before the Tigers used a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 65-76 over a 30-second span. However, the push was not enough to overcome the deficit and ECU fell 69-83.
While the teams ended up with close to the same overall and free-throw shooting percentages, the key to the win for SNU came beyond the arc. The Crimson Storm went 13-of-24 from three points range and held ECU to a 6-of-17 mark.
The Tigers will now get a week off before they play the final two games of the 2013-14 regular season in the Kerr Activities Center. ECU will first face arch rival Southeastern Oklahoma State, Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and then Arkansas Tech, Saturday, March 1 at 4 p.m. for Senior Day.