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Tough loss East Central's Casi Rawls (13) dribbles toward the hoop against Texas A&M-International last Saturday. Rawls and the Lady Tigers dropped a tough 68-65 decision to St. Gregory's in overtime Thursday night in Shawnee. The Lady Tigers, now 1-2 on the year, are off until Saturday, Nov. 27, when Texas A&M-Kingsville visits the Kerr Activities Center.

Photo courtesy Gina Smith
Submitted

East Central University compiled 16 steals and forced St. Gregory’s into 30 turnovers, but shot poorly and dropped a 68-65 overtime decision to the Lady Cavaliers Thursday night at the W.P. Wood Fieldhouse.

The Lady Tigers, who fell to 1-2 on the season, shot just 32.9 percent for the game and were only 5-of-30 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range.

Though ECU had 10 less turnovers than the hosts, the Lady Tigers made some critical mistakes down the stretch in regulation and OT.

“I feel good in that it wasn’t effort issue tonight. We fought hard, but the last three minutes of regulation we had chances to put the game away and didn’t,” said ECU head coach Kent Franz. “We would get a defensive rebound and our rebounder would try to dribble it out instead of getting it to the outlet or we would try to get it to the outlet and threw the ball away in overtime. I’d be worried if everything wasn’t fixable.”

Redshirt freshman Ashley Robison paced ECU with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with six rebounds and a pair of steals.

However, all three of the Lady Tigers’ starting guards were only a combined 9-of-39 from the floor.

Senior guard Casi Rawls finished with 11 points and was only 4-of-16 from the field. However, she proved to be big on defense by posting seven steals to go with a pair of assists. Sophomore guard Jourdan Clark added nine points though she was just 2-of-11 from the floor. Clark also finished with seven boards and six assists.

Krista Bullis added seven points, but was only 3-of-12 from the field. Jordan Thompson sank a pair of 3-pointers and ended up with six points.

Kelcie Nunley pulled down 10 rebounds for ECU.

“We couldn’t have asked for better shots and we got to the rack about anytime we wanted to. We just couldn’t get the shots to fall,” Franz said.

Four players reached double figures for SGU, led by Desandra Trotter’s 16 points. Jalisa Howard followed with 14 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Leticia Silva and Nicole Harris chipped in 13 and 11 points respectively.

The Lady Cavaliers, who improved to 4-1, shot 40.7 percent from the field and held a 46-43 rebounding edge.

The Lady Tigers trailed 64-60 late in overtime before Robison sank a 3-pointer off a Rawls steal and assist with 1:07 to go, but SGU kept the visitors at bay as Howard sank two free shots with :49 to go, making it 66-63.

Robison later scored to cut the deficit to 66-65 with 36 seconds remaining when Clark, who hit the floor for a loose ball, shoveled the ball off to her for the layup.

But two Harris free shots pushed the SGU advantage to 68-65 with 33 seconds left.

The Lady Tigers had two late shot attempts go awry.

ECU shot just 30 percent in the first half, but took a 29-25 halftime lead by compiling nine steals and forcing 16 turnovers.

Rawls collected four steals and Ramirez had two to lead the defensive charge in the opening 20 minutes. Rawls also topped the Lady Tiger scoring chart with seven points and Jordan Thompson, on the strength of a pair of treys, had six at the break.

SGU stayed within striking distance by shooting 42.1 percent and getting 10 points out of Trotter.

The Lady Tigers are now idle until Saturday, Nov. 27, when they host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 2 p.m. at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada.

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