WEATHERFORD — Remember the old joke about not being able to hit the water if you fell out of a boat.

That’s the way the East Central University Tigers must have felt, at least from 3-point range and the free-throw line, as they dropped an 80-62 to Southwestern Oklahoma State University Wednesday night in a Lone Star Conference North contest at Rankin Williams Fieldhouse.

ECU was a miserable 1-of-18 from 3-point land and only 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) from the free-throw line while watching three players — Chris Bingle, Ian Adams and Dominique Williams — exit the game with their fifth fouls.

Meanwhile, starting point guard Terrell Carpenter took an elbow to the head and sustained a concussion early in the first half.

SWOSU, behind senior guard Lonnie Cooks’ game-high 24 points, shot 51.8 percent from the floor and also dished out a game-leading six assists to lead a Bulldog attack which fed off dribble-penetrations. Two other Bulldog guards — Othello Alford and Reggie Gunn — finished with 11 points each. McKinley Bethea tossed in 15 points from the inside.

“Defensively, we were terrible. It was horrendous,” said ECU head coach Terry Shannon. “It was as bad as its been all year long. If we don’t start playing better defense, we're in trouble.”

The only advantage the Tigers had was on the boards as they held a 51-27 advantage.

However, ECU fell victim to 20 turnovers while SWOSU ended up with only 11.

Chris Bingle led ECU (13-9 overall, 3-4 in the LSC North) with 16 points as he converted 8-of-9 shot attempts from the floor. However, he fouled out with 5:20 to go.

Also reaching double figures for ECU were Jason Thomas and Orson Thomas with 10 each. Orson Thomas’ effort matched his career-high scoring effort as he also finished with six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Senior Geno Odom added eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.

The Tigers didn’t score their only 3-pointer of the night until the 2:10 mark of the second half on a jumper by Jason Thomas.

SWOSU (7-15, 4-3) shot 21 percent from 3-point territory.

SWOSU snatched a 30-23 halftime lead of the ugly contest, which saw the teams combine for 23 fouls in the first 20 minutes.

ECU shot just 29.6 percent from the floor in the opening half and was an anemic 0-of-10 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs were slightly better at 38.7 percent overall and 12.5 from 3-point land.

The two teams had a field goal apiece through the first five-plus minutes. SWOSU didn't pick up its first score until the 15:15 mark.

The only bright spot for the Tigers in the opening stanza was a 29-14 rebounding advantage, including 11 boards on the offensive end. The Bulldogs had only three offensive rebounds in the first half.

But that was tempered by the fact that ECU committed 14 turnovers compared to SWOSU’s six.



SWOSU 65, ECU 58 (WOMEN)

The Lady Bulldogs converted 28-of-32 free throws (87.5 percent), including eight straight down the stretch in knocking off the Lady Tigers.

Julie Dawson poured in 19 points while Kayla Horn and Andrea Oldham added 18 apiece for SWOSU. Horn was 13-of-14 from the line and Dawson was 5-of-6. Oldham also pulled down a game-leading 12 rebounds while Dawson was next with nine.

The Lady Bulldogs’ ability to crash the offensive boards in the second half was a big factor. SWOSU had nine second-half boards after having just three at halftime. The Lady Bulldogs owned a 43-37 rebounding advantage as a whole.

Sophomore forward Jastin Flenory paced ECU with 14 points while Tenecia Miller and Kiesha Thomas added 11 and 10, respectively.

The Lady Tigers had a nice night from the charity stripe themselves, connecting on 21-of-26 for 80.8 percent. ECU also had 15 of their rebounds on the offensive end.

SWOSU shot 35.4 percent from the floor for the game while the Lady Tigers hit just 29.3 percent of their attempts.

The Lady Bulldogs had four more turnovers than ECU, 17-13.

The Lady Tigers had early leads of 5-0 and 9-7, but were behind the rest of the way.

SWOSU had a 52-45 with 3:55 to go, but battled strong down the stretch, getting close as 52-51 on a Flenory layup with 2:11 remaining. Prior to that basket, Kacey Thomas had a layup off her own steal.

However, ECU got no closer as the Lady Bulldogs were 13-of-14 from the line in the final 1:48 of the contest.

The Lady Bulldogs did nearly half of their scoring from the free-throw line in the first half in taking a slim 31-27 at the break. SWOSU was 14-of-16 from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes as Horn was a perfect 8-of-8.

Oldham topped all scorers in the opening half with 13 points as she hit 5-of-7 shots from the field.

Sarah Taylor led ECU at the half with eight points off the bench. Miller added six points, converting all four free throws that she attempted.

Both ECU teams return home Saturday to face Cameron University in more LSC North action. The women's game tips off at 2 p.m. with the men’s contest to follow at 4 p.m. It will be Hall of Fame Day as three new members (Roland Miller, Chuck Liston and Eldon Flinn) will be inducted. ECU will also honor former men’s head coach Wayne Cobb with the naming of the basketball court after him.

This Week's Circulars