MAGNOLIA, ARK. - The East Central University men's basketball team lost 66-76 to Southern Arkansas on the road in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (12-6, 8-4 GAC) were led by senior Deron Hill, who tallied 17 points and five rebounds. Junior Ben Brown-White added 11 points and junior Aly Hudgins 10.
The Muleriders (10-8, 7-5 GAC) started the game with a 6-2 run in the first three minutes, before ECU got going and gained a 10-7 lead over the next four minutes. The teams then battled through the next four minutes, with ECU trailing 15-16.
That is when the Tigers again pushed ahead, this time using a 12-5 run to lead (29-21), with 3:58 left to play. In the final four minutes of the stanza SAU made a push of its own, using a 10-3 run to cut the lead to one (32-31) at the intermission.
The game was tied at 33 in the first 30 seconds of the second half, setting up a back-and-forth battle for control until the final five minutes of the game. SAU was the first to break free with an 8-3 run to take a 40-49 lead after the first five minutes of the half.
The Muleriders pushed the lead to 11 (45-56), with 12:22 left to play, before the Tigers started a fight of their own. ECU used an 8-0 run over a three minute span to tie the game at 62, with 5:35 left to play. However, SAU went on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to push its advantage back out to double-digits and claiming the 66-76 victory.
The key difference was a simple hot shooting night for the Muleriders, who shot 51.7 percent and held the Tigers to 38.3 percent.
ECU will look to rebound, Saturday, Jan. 30 when they stop at Arkansas-Monticello for a 3 p.m. game.