East Central University’s Tigers overcame an 11-point, second-half deficit by executing its offense down the stretch and hitting free throws in snapping a two-game losing streak and beating Dallas Baptist 71-66 Tuesday night on Wayne Cobb Court inside the Kerr Activities Center.
The Tigers, who improved to 6-3 on the season, shot 46 percent from the floor and knocked down 23-of-28 free throws (82.1 percent) in preserving the victory. The win avenged an earlier season loss to the Patriots in Dallas.
ECU, which committed 16 turnovers and trailed 41-30 near the midway point of the second half, did not have miscue in the final 12:20 of the game. From that point on, the Tigers outscored the Patriots by a 41-25 margin.
Junior Eric Avant came off the bench to pace ECU with 15 points as hit converted 4-of-8 shots from the floor (including one 3-pointer) and was 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Caprest Rhone followed with 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 free throws and Jamal Edwards tacked on 10 points on a 2-of-5 field-goal shooting and 6-of-8 free shots.
Edwards also handed out a game-leading six assists.
Denarius Darby added nine points while guarding Dallas Baptist’s Braxton Adamson and limiting that team’s scoring leader to nine points. Chris Lee tossed in seven points, including a thunderous slam dunk off a rebound, and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, nine of which came off the defensive glass.
The Tigers held a 33-27 rebounding advantage with 11 boards coming on the offensive end.
Armie Lewis, on the strength of a pair of 3-pointers, fueled Dallas Baptist with 15 points and three steals while Jordan McGowen added 12 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. Joseph Carrington also tallied nine points off the bench for the Patriots, who fell to 6-3 on the season.
ECU now takes a break until Monday, Dec. 13, when it hosts Incarnate Word in a Lone Star Conference crossover game at 8 p.m. in the Kerr Center.
The Tigers then close out their pre-Christmas schedule by visiting Abilene Christian on Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. and Angelo State on Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m.