Ada — For the first time during the 2013-14 season Harding saw a game not end in its favor, as the East Central University women’s basketball team defeated the No. 6 ranked Lady Bisons, 61-60 in overtime. The win marked the first time since Jan. 14, 2012 that the Lady Tigers (11-6, 6-5 GAC) had beaten a ranked opponent. The last time saw ECU down then-No. 1 Arkansas Tech.
The Lady Tigers were led by junior Erin Walling, who tallied 20 points and added four rebounds and two assists. Senior Alycea Price added 12 points, while junior Dilan Webster led the team on the glass with nine rebounds.
The start of the game was a defensive battle, with neither team scoring in the first two minutes. The Lady Bisons (18-1, 10-1 GAC) were the first to break the stalemate, but only tallied two points before ECU got on the scoreboard. The teams then traded runs over the first 11 minutes of the game for a 6-11 score.
Harding held on to the lead until an 11-1 run, in the final 5:30, by the Lady Tigers gave them a 22-18 advantage heading into the locker room.
The teams traded points for the first three minutes of the second half, when ECU used a 6-1 run to build the lead to 10. The Lady Bisons used a 5-0 run of their own to cut the deficit down to five. The teams then resumed the battle, keeping the ECU lead between 5-8 points for the next eight minutes.
With 7:05 left on the clock, Harding made a push to take a 46-47 lead on a 10-1 run, with 2:29 left to play. Senior Ashley Robison hit a triple with just over a minute left to put the Lady Tigers up two, but the Lady Bisons took advantage of two free throws to tie the game at 49, with 54 seconds left. Both teams had chances to win the game, but it was forced into overtime.
The overtime period was a back and forth battle until the final 1:10. Harding was up 57-59 and had a chance to push the lead to four, but missed the front end of two free throws for a 57-60 lead. Senior Alex Tucker cut the deficit to one with a jumper at 53 seconds and then redshirt Jalyn Jackson forced a turnover that allowed Price to hit the game winning shot with four seconds left on the clock. Harding had a final chance, but was not able to get a shot to fall for the 61-60 ECU win.
The game came down to overall shooting percentage and defense, as the Lady Tigers held the Lady Bisons to a 35.7 (20-of-56) mark and ECU shot 40.7 (24-of-59) percentage. The Lady Tigers also claimed a slight 39-36 rebounding advantage.
ECU will now hit the road for a road trip to Arkadelphia, Ark., Jan. 30-Feb. 1. The Lady Tigers will first battle with Henderson State, Thursday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Tigers Win Third Straight
ADA – The East Central University men’s basketball team earned its third-straight win and a season sweep of Harding, with a 74-69 decision at the Kerr Activities Center in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (11-6, 8-3 GAC) were led by junior Brandon Lucas, with 15 points and four rebounds. Senior Colby Carr added 11 points and eight boards, while senior Chris Fisher and redshirt freshman Aly Hudgins each contributed 11 points.
Like the women’s game earlier in the day, it was all about defense in the opening 2:30, before Harding scored the first points. The teams battled over the next minute before ECU took its first lead, with a 5-0 run. Harding kept the score close with a 4-0 run, but the Tigers held onto the advantage for the rest of the half. Both teams used several runs throughout the opening half, but ECU went into the locker room with a 36-31 advantage.
The Bisons (9-8, 6-5 GAC) came out fighting in the second half and used a 9-5 run to cut the lead to one (41-40), in the first three minutes. The Tigers then used a 7-1 run over the next three minutes to push the lead back out to seven.
ECU pushed the advantage out to 11, with 11:54 remaining and kept the lead between 7-10 points for the next three minutes. That is when the Bisons made a key push, using a 9-0 run to tie the game at 59, with 5:29 left to play.
The teams battled through the next three minutes to another tie, this time at 69. From there it was all Tigers, as ECU used a 5-0 run in the final 1:43 to earn the 74-69 win.
ECU had a strong night shooting, hitting 50.9 (27-of-53) percent of their overall shots and 41.7 (10-of-24) of their triples. The night seemed like a three-point shooting contest, with Harding going 14-of-34 (41.2%) from beyond the arc for the game.
The Tigers will now hit the road for two games in Arkadelphia, Ark., Jan. 30-Feb. 1. ECU will first battle Henderson State, Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.