The East Central University men’s basketball team will play the first of three-straight home games at the Kerr Activities Center, Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. when Southwestern Oklahoma State comes to town.
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.
The Bulldogs are 9-12 overall and 8-7 in the GAC after winning their last game. Southwestern has not done very well on the road this season, going 3-6.
The Bulldogs have a -2.4 scoring and -4.4 rebounding margin on the year, but are shooting .416 as a team and .341 from beyond the arc. They are allowing a .436 mark overall and .326 pace from three-point range by their opponents.
Southwestern has three players in double figures in the scoring column that account for 54 percent of the scoring, 53 percent of the shots taken and 67 percent of the triples taken. Marin Zelalija leads the team with 12.6 points per game and a .425 overall and .376 three-point shooting percentage. Thomas Davis is next with 12.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while Dominick Cornelius adds 12.1 points and 5.2 boards per game.
Against the Bulldogs
In the last meeting with Southwestern, the Tigers had a chance late to win the game, but fell in the final seconds, 61-64. The key difference in the game was free throws. The Bulldogs went 25-of-33 from the charity stripe, while ECU was 13-of-24.
Junior Gregory Ardister led the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while freshman Nick Anderson added a career-best 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
Marin Zelalija tallied 20 points for the Bulldogs, while Thomas Davis added 13 points and seven rebounds.
The series with Southwestern in the longest running series for the Tigers, with 174 games having been played. ECU currently owns a 92-82 advantage in the all-time series, despite the fact that the Bulldogs have won the last 11 games.
Pink Out Game
Thursday’s game in the Pink Out game to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness. The first 200 fans will receive a free pink t-shirt courtesy of Patriot Ford and Valley View Regional Hospital. The Zeta’s will also be on hand to pass out pink ribbons and educational material.
For two games the Tigers used strong three-point shooting to mount come-backs. In the game against Harding, ECU went 11-of-21 from beyond the arc (52.4 percent). The Tigers shot just 37.5 percent from three-point range (3-of-8) in the first half and then exploded for an 8-of-13 mark (61.5 percent) in the second half.
Against Ouachita Baptist, ECU again hit just three triples in the first half, but went 3-of-6. The Tigers then added an 8-of-13 mark (61.5 percent) in the second half to finish 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) for the game.
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 7-14 overall two wins 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).
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 continue their three-game home stand with a game against Northwestern, Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Kerr Activities Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.