Tigers at home twice this week

UTEP’s Bryson Williams (11) tries to score in front of East Cenral’s Zac Neely (33) during an exhibition contest last week in El Paso, Texas. Williams scored 33 points in UTEP’s 91-71 win.

The East Central University men’s basketball team will host a pair of games this week at the Kerr Activities Center, starting with a non-conference matchup against Bacone College at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Tigers (5-1, 0-1 GAC) will then play host to Oklahoma Baptist for a Great American Conference battle at 3 p.m.

Tigers bulldoze Austin College

East Central scored the first 11 points of the game and led by as many as 31 in the first half and roared past Austin College 106-70 Saturday afternoon at home.

ECU led 67-28 at halftime and pushed the lead to 77-31 after a layup by Zac Neely at the 15:46 mark of the second half.

It was the first time this season that the Tigers eclipsed the 100-point mark.

Camron Talley scored a game-high 27 points to go with three assists and two steals.

Caleb Williams finished with a career-best 15 points, while Jalan Brown followed with 11 points and eight rebounds. Josh Apple also hit double figures with 10 points.

ECU played 11 players in the game, and all 11 scored at least two points.

The last time Austin College played ECU was Dec. 14, 1999. ECU won that contest 80-67, giving legendary head coach Wayne Cobb his 600th career victory.

Talley’s tally

Through five games, Camron Talley was ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II with a 28.4 points per game average. Jhonathan Dunn of Southern Nazarene tops the charts by averaging 28.9 points per game.

Talley, a senior from Rockwall, Texas, is No. 8 on the ECU career steals list with 115. He’s tied with former ECU sharpshooter Tommy Eaton, who had 115 steals during a career that spanned from 1990 to 1993.

Solid start at UTEP

The ECU men trailed just 36-30 at halftime before host UTEP pulled away for a 91-71 exhibition victory last week inside the Don Haskins Center.

East Central used an 11-2 run to get within a point (19-18) on a tip-in by Josh Apple with 7:52 remaining in the half.

The Miners were up two (23-21) before embarking on a 13-0 spurt to take their biggest lead of the opening period, 36-21, on a jumper by Tydus Verhoeven with 2:55 to go. But the Tigers ended the half with nine consecutive points to draw within six (36-30) at the break. Matt Garriga drained a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left for the Tigers.

ECU drew within five at 47-42 on two free throws by Camron Talley with 14:32 to play but could get no closer.

UTEP head coach Rodney Terry had high praise for the Tigers.

“The game tonight was an opportunity for us to try to get better against an older team, a team that we knew coming in had a really good record (4-1), and those guys can shoot the basketball,” Terry said.

Talley finished with 15 points to pace ECU, while Neely followed with 12. Gerren Jackson added nine points and eight rebounds for the visitors.

Note: ECU Sports Information Director Teri LaJeunesse contributed to this report.

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.

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