BETHANY — The East Central women’s basketball went from hot to cold in a hurry against Southern Nazarene Saturday in the Sawyer Center.

ECU hit just 4-of-22 field goals (18.2 percent) in the second half and was outscored 31-21 over the final two frames in a 65-58 loss to the Crimson Storm.

SNU notched its first win of the season, improving to 1-5, while ECU slipped to 3-3.

East Central tried to deliver a knockout blow in the first quarter.

Southern Nazarene led 15-14 at the 3:31 mark of the first period, but the Tigers closed out the quarter on a 9-1 run.

ECU got back-to-back layups by Sam Schwab, a 3-pointer by Lakin Preisner and two free throws by Madison Nickens that gave the visitors a 23-16 lead heading into the second quarter.

A fast-break bucket by Kendall Schulte and a 3-pointer from Madison Rehl pushed the Tiger lead to 33-22 at the 6:24 mark of the second period.

However, the hosts chipped away at the ECU lead and trailed just 37-34 at halftime.

Despite the cold shooting, the Tigers still had their chances down the stretch.

A 3-pointer by Stefany Lourenco gave ECU a 57-55 lead with 3:02 left in the game and a Lourenco free throw at the 1:57 mark knotted the score at 58-58.

Southern Naz scored the final seven points of the game, all from the free-throw line, to hold off the Tigers for the win. ECU missed its final four field attempts.

Rehl led the ECU offense with 11 points, while Preisner added 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.

Kayci Glover, a freshman from Ft. Gibson High School, scored a game-high 20 points, hit 3-of-3 3-point shots and added five rebounds for the hosts. Adrienne Berry sank four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for SNU.

East Central travels to Shawnee tonight for a 5:30 p.m. contest with host Oklahoma Baptist.

No 5 SNU

blows by Tigers

BETHANY - Fifth-ranked Southern Nazarene shot 53 percent from the field and held East Central to 32 percent shooting in the second half in a 91-66 victory over the Tigers Saturday in the Sawyer Center.

SNU led by as many as 35 in the runaway win.

Win the win, the Crimson Storm has now won 21 straight games on their home floor.

SNU junior Jhonathan Dunn hit seven 3-point field goals and finished with a game-high 25 points. Senior Noah Starkey poured in 20, while junior Micah Speight added a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists.

It was a shootout in the early going as both teams went back-and-forth, trading the lead all throughout the first 10 minutes.

With SNU leading 28-26, the Crimson Storm caught fire while getting stops on the other end as Dunn connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a 34-26 lead. After a pair of Tiger free throws, Chris Stephens connected on a 3-pointer followed by a lay in by RJ Palmer to push the lead to 39-28.

East Central trailed 50-48 at halftime.

In the second half, SNU took the game over in the blink of an eye. After ECU got the opening bucket, the Crimson Storm went on an 11-0 run capped by a huge alley-oop from Speight to Dunn to open up a 61-40 lead.

Speight’s 3-pointer with 5:42 left put the home team on top 91-56.

Da’Rion King led the way for the Tigers with 16 points, while Tyler Arnold had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Crimson Storm held the GAC leading scorer, Cameron Talley, who came in averaging 25 points a game, to only eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Freshman Gerren Jackson added 10 points for the Tigers.

The Tigers will play their third GAC game in six days at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.