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December 19, 2013

Erin Walling helps ECU shoot by Evangels

Ada —    The East Central University women’s basketball team overcame 28 turnovers and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 71-61 win over Mid-America Christian Tuesday night inside the Kerr Activities Center.

   “An ugly win is still better than a pretty loss, so we’re happy for the win,” said East Central interim head coach Emily Holombek. “We worked to get it. We did a lot of good things to go with the 28 turnovers.”

   The Lady Tigers (6-4) were led by senior Ashley Robison, who tallied her first double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-best 18 rebounds. Junior Erin Walling — a former Ada High standout — exploded for a career-best 22 points and added three rebounds. Junior Dilan Webster was the third Lady Tiger with a double-digit point total, with 10.

   The Evangels (8-2) came ready to play and took an early 4-0 advantage before allowing ECU to get on the scoreboard with 17:52 left to play in the first half. MACU built its lead to six (13-7) after the first six minutes of action before the Lady Tigers made their move. ECU went on a 14-3 run over the next four minutes to take a six-point advantage (22-16).

   The momentum came back to the Lady Tigers, and they maintained a six- to nine-point lead for the remainder of the half. ECU went into the intermission with a 35-27 advantage.

   The second half was a much closer battle, with each team earning several runs throughout the remaining 20 minutes of play. The Lady Tigers built their lead up to as many as 14 points, but the Evangels were able to cut the deficit to five twice in the half.

   With 3:37 left to play, ECU was up 11 when MACU used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to five over the next minute. However, the Lady Tigers used a 7-2 run of their own in the final minutes to earn the 10-point victory.

   After shooting under 39 percent from the field for the last three games, ECU had a strong night against the Evangels. The Lady Tigers hit 22-of-52 (42.3 percent) of their shots from the field and 38.5 (5-of-13) percent from beyond the arc. ECU also held MACU to a 30.3 (23-of-76) overall mark and a 24.1 (7-of-29) percentage from 3-point range.

   Walling finished 6-of-13 from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers, and sank 7-of-10 free shots.

   “I know shots fell tonight, and they’re the same shots we’ve been getting the last four games that haven’t fallen. It’s just nice to know that we broke out of that shooting slump,” Holombek said. “Our players are much better shooters than what we’ve been showing.”

   Another big advantage for the Lady Tigers was on the glass, where they earned a 51-35 rebounding margin.

   ECU will now have two weeks off for the holidays before returning to the road and Great American Conference action Thursday, Jan. 2, at Arkansas-Monticello. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow at 7:30 p.m.

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