After playing six of the last seven games on the road, the East Central University men’s basketball team will return home to the Kerr Activities Center for the first of three-straight home games. The Tigers will host Northwestern Oklahoma State, Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
ECU’s radio home for Tigers basketball in 2012-13 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 men’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 Rangers are 4-7 overall and 1-4 in the Great American Conference after losing their last two games. NWOSU has a -6.0 scoring and +2.2 rebounding margin for the season. While the Rangers are close in overall shooting percentage (.401 to .431) to their opponents, they have a .243 to .330 difference in three-point shooting.
NWOSU has just one player averaging over 10 points per game, while there are two that are just below at 9.4 and 9.5 points per game. Bruce Wright leads the team with 12.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while shooting .535 from the field. T’aries Taylor adds 9.5 points and Adrian Motley contributes 9.4 points and 5.9 boards per game.
Against the Rangers
Last season, the Tigers struggled against NWOSU, losing both games by an average of 11 points. The game at Northwestern was a large loss, while the game in Ada was much closer.
The Tigers return several players that did well in the series, with senior Chris Fisher leading the group with 18 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Seniors Colby Carr and Henry Pwono also added more than 10 points per game, with Carr netting 11.5 and Pwono 10.5.
Bruce Wright and T’aries Taylor are the top returners for the Rangers. Wright averaged 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while Taylor added 10 points per outing.
In one of the longest running series for the Tigers, ECU holds an 85-50 lead over the Rangers since playing them for the first time in the 1927-28 season. The teams played last season for the first time in over 16 years in the series.
The ECU Athletic Department and Mercy Hospital of Ada will be hosting a Family Day at the Saturday, Jan. 11 basketball games against Southwestern Oklahoma State. Admission to both games for the whole family is just $5.
Making a Statement
The Tigers had a strong showing against Southwestern Adventist, scoring 122 points. The number was the most in school history, with the previous high being 117. It was also the first time since Jan. 7, 2010 that ECU had scored 100+ points in a game when they fell 104-128.
ECU finished the first portion of the 2013-14 season with a 6-4 record, marking the first time since 2007-08 that the Tigers were above .500 at the holiday break. They started 2007-08 with a 6-3 mark and finished 14-13 overall.
Winning the Unwinnable Road Trip
The Tigers had a great conference road trip, winning at both Harding and Arkansas Tech. ECU defeated Harding 93-83 and ATU 94-78. The wins made the Tigers the first team from the GAC to earn wins at both Harding and ATU in league history.
Lucas Earns GAC Weekly Honors
Junior Brandon Lucas has been named the Great American Conference Player of the Week for Dec. 9 after helping the Tigers earn two big road wins at Harding and Arkansas Tech last weekend.
Lucas led the Tigers to road victories at Harding and ATU as they became the first program in GAC history to pull off that weekend sweep. He averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two contests. He shot 68.2 percent from the floor, going 15-for-22 and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He went 8-for-9 in the win at Harding.
Abundant Free Throws
Free throws became a large part of the Tigers win against the Wonder Boys, as both teams combined for 99 free throws in the game. ECU went 39-of-55 and ATU was 27-of-44 for the game. The 99 combined free throws set at GAC record. The old record was 81 set by Arkansas Tech (45) and Southwestern (36), Jan. 12, 2012.
Mitchell Up for Good Works Team
Senior Miles Mitchell was recently named a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Mitchell is one of 43 nominees for the DII, DIII and NAIA section and the only member of the group from the Great American Conference. The team will be announced in February and will consist of five student-athletes from the group of 43.
Making a Difference Off the Court
On the court is not the only place that you can find a member of ECU men’s basketball team this season. Since head coach Ja Havens has taken over the program the Tigers have renewed their commitment to community service. ECU has been a part of several community service projects since the start of the school year, with an emphasis on youth events. The Tigers have been to several elementary and middle schools in the area to read with the students and to get to know their younger fans.
A coaching change did not stop senior Colby Carr from continuing his consistent performances on the court. Carr has recorded at least one point and one rebound in all 38 games since he joined the Tigers in 2012-13. The New Orleans, La., native is also not afraid to share the ball, dishing out an assists in the last 27 games for ECU.
Starting Out on the Right Path
For the first time since joining the GAC, the Tigers picked up a win in their first conference game of the season when they defeated Ouachita Baptist 81-54.
Tigers Picked to Finish 10th
The Tigers were picked to finish 10th in the Great American Conference in the 2013-14 GAC Preseason Poll as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
ECU received 28 points in the poll and were above Southern Arkansas, with 22 points.
The Tigers will continue their home stand with a Saturday, Jan. 11 game against Southwestern Oklahoma State at 4 p.m.