Senior guard Casi Rawls filled up the boxscore with 19 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and five steals as East Central University’s Lady Tigers held off Texas A&M-Kingsville 66-62 Saturday in Lone Star Conference women’s crossover basketball play at the Kerr Activities Center.
ECU, which improved to 2-2 on the season, won despite shooting just 38.8 percent and committing 18 turnovers.
The Lady Tigers did forced 19 TAMUK turnovers and collected eight steals on the day, led by Rawls’ five swipes.
The Javelinas were held to 33.8 percent shooting from the floor.
Seniors Laura Harris and Indhira Ramirez added 12 points apiece for the winners as Harris sank 4-of-8 shots from 3-point territory and Ramirez converted 6-of-11 close-range tries.
Redshirt freshman Ashley Robison added eight points and seven boards for the Lady Tigers, who were even with the Javelinas on the boards at 45. ECU trailed much of the game in that department but kept a few late possessions alive with some offensive rebounds.
Junior Kelcie Nunley, who finished with five points, also contributed six rebounds.
TAMUK finished with 22 boards on the offensive end while the Lady Tigers finished with 20.
ECU held a slim 28-25 halftime edge as Rawls tallied seven points, handed out four of her assists and recorded all five of her steals in 16 minutes of play.
Harris, behind her two 3-pointers, had six at the break.
TAMUK held a 23-20 rebounding advantage, 11 of which came off the offensive glass.
Victoria Gonzalez led the Javelinas with 13 points, Chelsea Solis followed with 11 and Novella Thomas ended up with 10.
TAMUK didn’t help its own cause by converting just 9-of-17 free shots (52.9 percent) and the Lady Tigers were only slightly better at 7-of-12 (58.3).
ECU gets back to action on Tuesday as it hosts Southwestern Christian University at 6 p.m. at the Kerr Center in Ada.
ECU pound boards in win over TAMUK
ADA – Board play proved to be big in East Central University’s 53-49 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville in Lone Star Conference men’s basketball crossover play Saturday at the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers withstood 22 turnovers and owned a commanding 43-23 advantage in the rebounding department to knock off the Javelinas and improve to 4-1 on the season.
Senior Denarius Darby hustled for 11 rebounds to go with his 10 points and Antwone Snead snatched a game-high 14 boards to go with his four points and four assists as ECU overcame some second-half adversity to put away TAMUK.
“As a group, we collectively held together with a little adversity. We had a double-digit lead at one point in the first half, saw them (the Javelinas) pull even and eventually take a lead,” said ECU head coach Joe Redmond. “It was good to see our guys stay positive and encourage each other late.”
Junior guard Jamal Edwards paced the Tigers with a game-leading 15 points as he drilled 9-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line to go with seven defensive rebounds and three assists.
Defensively ECU was solid, despite the fact it was credited with no steals and forced just nine Javelina turnovers, 13 less than the Tigers.
“I guess that’s going to happen when you give them too many possessions. But we were getting stops when we needed to and rebounds,” Redmond said. “Holding them to one shot (most of the time) was a big key for us.”
The Tigers did make enough plays and free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Edwards broke a 44-all deadlock when he sank a 22-foot trey off a Darby pass with 1:29 to go.
Though the Javelinas drew even at 49-49 off a Marcus Ford trey with :26 remaining, ECU managed to convert just enough free throws down the stretch to keep the visitors at bay.
Snead knocked down one of two tries with 21 seconds left to give the Tigers a 50-49 edge as the Javelinas came up empty on their next three possessions.
After a Ricky Simon miss, Snead pulled down a rebound which led to two Caprest Rhone free throws with 14 seconds remaining to make it 52-49. TAMUK’s Ford later misfired on a 3-point attempt as Darby came away with the carom and sank one of two shots with 2.7 seconds left to put the contest out of reach.
Eric Avant contributed seven points for the Tigers and Rhone ended up with six.
Ford and Adam Morris paced the Javelinas with nine points apiece and Simon tacked on eight.
ECU converted 23-of-31 free throws on the day (74.2 percent) and TAMUK was 8-of-12 (66.7). The Tigers shot 40 percent from the floor for the game, but managed to hit only 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from 3-point land. The Javelinas were 33.9 percent from the field and only 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from outside the arch.
The Tigers return to action Tuesday as they host Southwestern Christian University at 8 p.m. at the Kerr Center in Ada.