WEATHERFORD, OKLA. - The East Central University women's basketball team dropped a 49-65 Great American Conference decision to Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Pioneer Cellular Center.
The Tigers (2-9, 2-5 GAC) were led by junior Whitney Stotler, who tallied 13 points, nine rebounds and a career-high three blocks. Sophomore Aalyiah Blakely added a career-best 17 points, while junior Tori Huff tallied 10.
The opening stanza started out slow with just 10 total points scored in the first three minutes and the teams knotted at five. However, the Bulldogs (8-5, 4-3 GAC) started a 10-0 run that lasted four minutes to earn a 5-12 advantage. In the final 2:30 of the first quarter the Tigers fought back and used a 7-2 run to trail by just two (12-14) heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth battle for control, with both teams going on several runs to take the advantage. ECU earned its lead in the quarter, with 4:34 left, after using an 8-0 run over a four-minute span. However, SWOSU countered with a 9-2 run in the remainder of the half to lead 25-32 heading into the locker room.
The second half started with the teams trading the first two shots, but then the Bulldogs went on a 14-4 run until the final minute of the quarter to hold a 31-48 lead. The Tigers fought back in the final seconds, going on a 5-0 run to end the period down 36-48.
The final quarter saw a long draught without either team scoring, but the closest that ECU could cut the deficit was 10 points. The Tigers fought to the final buzzer and kept the disadvantage between 10 to 15 points before falling 49-65.
Three-point shooting and rebounding were the keys to the game, as SWOSU earned a 42.9 percent (9-of-21) to 18.5 percent (5-of-27) lead in shots beyond the arc and a 37-55 difference on the boards.
The Tigers will now return home to get ready for the first of three-straight home games at the Kerr Activities Center. ECU will first host Oklahoma Baptist, Saturday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m., with the second game being a rare Monday affair against arch rival Southeastern Oklahoma State (Jan. 18) at 5:30 p.m.