The East Central University women's basketball team dropped a close, 63-67, decision to Arkansas-Monticello in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (6-11, 6-7 GAC) were led by sophomore Alexa Adair, with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Aalyiah Blakely added 11 points and six rebounds.
The teams traded runs through the first quarter, forcing two ties. The final tie came at 13-all, with 1:53 left to play. However, the Cotton Blossoms (9-8, 6-7 GAC) used a final 4-0 run in the final time to take a 13-17 lead at the break.
UAM continued the run with five more points through the first three minutes of the second quarter to extend the lead to nine (13-22). The teams traded shots over the next minute before ECU countered with a 5-0 run over the next minute to cut the deficit to four (20-24). The Tigers kept the disadvantage between four and seven points through the rest of the half and went into the locker room trailing 27-31.
ECU came out ready to fight in the third quarter, tying the game at 33 in the first three minutes, with a 6-2 run. The teams traded shots and runs the rest of the quarter and went into the final 10 minutes of action tied at 47.
The Cotton Blossoms were the first to pull away in the fourth quarter, using a 6-0 run in the first three minutes (47-53). The Tigers fought back to get within two (53-55) over the next four minutes, but saw the disadvantage increase back out to seven in the next minute.
ECU again pushed the tempo and went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to two (60-62), with 48 seconds to play. But UAM was able to go on another 4-0 run in the next forth seconds to help secure the 63-67 victory.
The game was as close in the box score as the final score, with the Tigers holding a clear 37-29 advantage on the boards, but UAM making three more shots (21-24) and one more free throw (12-13) for the win.
The Tigers will now return home for a three-game home stand starting Thursday, Feb. 4 against Henderson State at 5:30 p.m. at the Kerr Activities Center.