The East Central University men's basketball team got back on track with an 86-76 Great American Conference victory over Arkansas Tech at the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers (8-4, 4-2 GAC) were led by junior Ben Brown-White who tallied a career-best 19 points and added nine rebounds, a block and an assist. He was one of four players in double figures in the scoring column for ECU, with senior Stirling Thomas adding 14, junior Ishmael Donzo 13 and junior Braxton Reeves 11.
"I am really proud of the way the team responded today," said head coach Ja Havens. "We did a great job in the second half of sticking together, rebounding and getting key stops when we needed them. Ben Brown-White also did a great job coming off the bench and contributing key numbers."
The opening nine minutes of the first half were a close battle, with no team leading by more than two points. The Wonder Boys were the first team to take a larger lead, using a 5-0 run over the next minute. The Tigers countered with a 7-0 run of their own to take a 27-25 advantage, with 8:35 left to play in the stanza. However, ATU pushed back and used an 11-0 run over the next four minutes to regain the lead and ended up going into the locker room with a 39-45 lead.
ECU came out strong in the second half, forcing a tie at 47 in the first 3:30 with an 8-2 run. The teams then played a tight game over the next three minutes before the Tigers put together a 21-7 run over the next 10 minutes to lead 77-65. The Wonder Boys tried to mount a come-back, but they could only get four-straight points before the teams traded points the rest of the game on the way to the 86-76 ECU win.
Free throws became a key to the game, as the Tigers went 25-of-28 from the line and only allowed ATU to attempt 18 and make 10.
ECU will now hit the road for a game at Southwestern Oklahoma State, Thursday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. before hosting Oklahoma Baptist, Saturday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. in the Kerr Activities Center.