BETHANY, OKLA. - The East Central University women's basketball team dropped a hard fought battle with Southern Nazarene, 53-57, in Great American Conference action at the Sawyer Center.
The Tigers (9-14, 9-10 GAC) were paced junior Jalyn Jackson, who was one of four players with double-digit point totals in the game. Jackson garnered 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while adding four assists and three steals. Sophomore Tori Huff added 12 points and sophomore Alexa Adair and Mariah Meyer both netted 11.
The game started out slow, with neither team scoring in the first two minutes, but the Crimson Storm (6-16, 5-14 GAC) were the first to strike and earned four-straight points. ECU's first shot was a three and it set up a battle that ended in a tie at six, with four minutes left to play. The teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter and SNU took a 10-13 advantage into the next stanza.
The Crimson Storm kept their lead between two and six points through the first five minutes of the quarter. That is when the Tigers turned up the pressure and used a 6-0 run to gain their first lead of the night (20-18). SNU countered with a 5-0 run of its own and kept a lead around four points for the rest of the half, going into the locker room leading 24-28.
ECU quickly battled back at the start of the third quarter, using a 7-3 run in the first three minutes. The Crimson Storm scored the next four points to regain the advantage and kept the lead around four points until the last two minutes of the quarter. The Tigers kept fighting and this time they earned the last shot of the stanza to tie the game at 42.
The opening six minutes of the final quarter were close, resulting in a 48-all tie, with 3:26 to play. However, it was the Crimson Storm who were able to put together a run, going 8-1 over the next three minutes for a 49-56 advantage.
Huff hit a three to cut the deficit to four (52-56) and then both teams missed key free throws in the final seconds to end the game with a 53-57 score.
Points at the charity stripe became the key to the game, as SNU went 18-of-23 and held ECU to a 7-of-11 mark.
The Tigers will now return home to play their final game of the 2015-16 season at the Kerr Activities Center, Saturday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. when they host Northwestern Oklahoma State.