The East Central University men’s basketball team is set to battle with Henderson State, Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kerr Activities Center as the first of two-straight home games.
ECU’s radio home for Tigers basketball in 2012-13 is Ada’s KXFC, 105.5, FM ‘The X-Factor’. Kenny Morrison returns to broadcast the games for his 15th consecutive season. Morrison, a 1987 ECU graduate, spent two seasons doing color prior to taking over the play-by-play duties during the 1997-98 season.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) and the KXFC radio broadcast on ECUTigers.com. Go to the men’s basketball schedule page.
Scouting Henderson State
The Reddies are 9-8 overall and 4-7 in the Great American Conference after dropping their last two games.
Henderson State has five players that are averaging double-digit point totals and account for 79% of the scoring, 54% of rebounding, 80% of shots taken and 85% of triples taken. Andrew Ensley leads the group, with 16.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Ensley is shooting .493 from the field and has taken 50 more shots than the rest of the team. Melvin Haynes is next with 11.8 points per game. He is shooting .389 from the field and .364 from three-point range, where all but 35 of his 167 shot attempts have come from.
The other three players in double figures are Denzel Lyles (12.2 ppg), Joe McCoy (10.3 ppg) and Jonathan Fitzgerald (10.2 ppg). The next player on the box score is contributing 5.1 points per game.
The Reddies have a +1.4 scoring margin and a -4.6 rebounding margin this season. They have a good shooting percentage of .426, but are allowing their opponents to make shots at a .452 clip.
Against the Reddies
In the first meeting of the 2012-13 season, the Reddies earned a 64-75 win at Henderson State.
Juniors Colby Carr and Jason Williams led the Tigers with 11 points each, while Carr added nine rebounds.
Andrew Ensley led the Reddies with 24 points and six rebounds, while Melvin Haynes added 15 points and five boards.
Free throws were a key factor in the game, as both teams shot close to the same percentage and made close to the same number of shots for the game. The Tigers ended the game with an 11-of-16 to 18-of-30 disadvantage at the charity stripe.
The all-time series between the Reddies and the Tigers currently stands at 6-7 in favor of Henderson State after the Reddies have been the victor in the last three meetings.
The Tigers used strong three-point shooting to mount a come-back that tied the game at Harding after ECU trailed by 17 in the second half. For the game the Tigers went 11-of-21 from beyond the arc (52.4%). ECU shot just 37.5% from three-point range (3-of-8) in the first half and then exploded for an 8-of-13 mark (61.5%) in the second half.
Making it Rain
Junior Miles Mitchell made the most of his night against Southeastern (Jan. 24), sinking 5-of-9 shots from beyond the arc for a season-best 15 points. The five triples tied a season-high for the most triples by an ECU player in a single game.
Carr’s Career Night
While junior Colby Carr has been a consistent scorer for the Tigers, he added to his career totals against Southern Nazarene (Jan. 17). The New Orleans, La., native tallied a career-high 31 points on 10 field goals and eight free throws. Carr is the first ECU player to score 30+ points in a single game since Jan. 4, 2010 when Eric Allen scored 31 at Southwestern Christian.
For the first time in the 2012-13 season two players tallied double-doubles in the same game for the Tigers against Southern Arkansas (Jan. 5). Junior Colby Carr tallied his fourth, and third-straight, with a career-best 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Jason Williams tallied his first of the season, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers have seen very consistent play from junior Colby Carr. Through 10 games, the New Orleans, La., native tallied double-digits in the scoring column and shot over 40 percent from the field. In the last three games, Carr also recorded double-doubles.
Reeves Getting Into the Game
Freshman Braxton Reeves had a strong outing against Arkansas-Monticello. The Fort Worth, Texas, native tallied a career-best 12 points on 4-of-9 three-point shooting.
After having a career night against Harding and performing well in the next few games, freshman Marquis Walters earned his first career start against Newman and made an immediate impact in the game. The Ardmore, Okla., native set career highs of points (19), rebounds (6), assists (5), steals (2), field goals (5) and free-throws (7).
ECU is making strong progress this season after finishing 5-21 in 2011-12. So far in 2012-13 the Tigers are 6-11 overall one win over last year’s total. ECU also finished the non-conference season 3-3 overall, compared to 3-7 in 2011-12. The win over Newman also tied the road wins from last season (1).
Carr’s Career Numbers
Junior Colby Carr had a career day for the Tigers against Langston, recording his first career double-double. The New Orleans, La., native tallied career highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds for the second double-double of the season for an ECU player.
Williams All-Tourney Honors
Junior Jason Williams led the Tigers in both games at the Taco Bell Texans Tip-Off Classic and was rewarded with All-Tournament honors. Williams tallied 22 points and 12 boards, while shooting .700 (7-of-10) from the field and .615 (8-of-13) from the charity stripe in the two-game tournament.
Junior Gregory Ardister made an immediate impact in his first game for the Tigers, earning a double-double on 10 points and 10 rebounds in the, 73-54, win over St. Gregory’s (Nov. 10). The double-double was the first for an ECU player since Jan. 21, 2012 when Darnell Davis tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds at Arkansas-Monticello. In 2011-12 the Tigers recorded just six double-doubles as a team.
New Season/New Beginning
After a 2011-12 season where ECU finished 5-21 overall and 2-14 in GAC play, the 2012-13 season will be a season of new beginnings. The head coach will be familiar, but the student-athletes on the court will have a new look, as the Tigers return one player from 2011-12 and will have 15 new players on the court.
Second-year head coach Mac McConnell is looking to turn the program around and get it back to winning. Only this season he had the opportunity to pick his own players and will be able to mold the group into his style of play.
The Tigers will remain at home for the annual Hall of Fame game, Saturday, Feb. 2 when they host Ouachita Baptist. The men’s game will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the Hall of Fame ceremony that will take place between the women’s and men’s games.