The East Central University women's basketball team remained undefeated in Great American Conference play, with a 69-64 win over Southern Arkansas at the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers (10-2, 6-0 GAC) were led by a trio of seniors who all scored in double-digits. Senior Taylor Fischer led the way with 17 points and three rebounds; while senior Erin Walling added 15 points and four boards and senior Dilan Webster garnered 12 points.
"I thought it was a typical conference game, with both teams playing extremely hard," said head coach Matt Cole. "We did a good job in the first half with their defense. Southern Arkansas then came out in the second half and really made some plays, but we were able to do just enough to come away with the win."
ECU opened action with a 7-4 run, but quickly say the lead cut to one with a 4-0 Muleriders (4-9, 2-5 GAC) run. The teams kept the game close over the next few minutes and SAU forced a tie at 14, with 12:47 remaining in the half. The Tigers then used two run to push the lead out to seven (26-19).
The lead remained between seven-to-nine points for most of the half until ECU hit a triple with three minutes left to push the advantage out to double-digits. The Tigers then went on a 6-2 run in the final minutes to take a 47-33 lead into the locker room.
In the first two minutes of the second half, the Muleriders started a come-back, with a 7-1 run. ECU countered with a 4-0 run to push the advantage out to eight again over the next four minutes. Both teams then went through long droughts scoring that kept the score low.
Starting in the middle of the half, the Muleriders started several small run that allowed them to cut the advantage to two points, with 45 seconds left to play.
While the Tigers were held without a field goal in the final 4:15, ECU hit five key free throws during the span to hold on for the 69-64 victory.
Free throws ended up being the key factor in the outcome, with the Tigers going 20-of-27 and the Muleriders being held to a 9-of-12 mark.
ECU will now prepare for a home game against Ouachita Baptist, Saturday, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Kerr Activities Center.