ADA, Okla. – Junior guard Blake Rogers registered a career-high 26 points, the most by a Mulerider this season, and senior forward Devante Brooks filled up his stat ledger with a double-double for the ninth time this year and for the eighth-consecutive game.
Howecver, Southern Arkansas was slowed late on the road Thursday night in Ada as East Central topped the Muleriders 81-77 in Great American Conference action. The defeat snapped a four-game winning streak and drops the team's overall record to 9-4 with a 5-2 mark in league play.
At 3 p.m. today, the Muleriders will look to bounce back against Southeastern Oklahoma State inside Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant.
Rogers matched the highest made shot output by a Mulerider this season with nine. Brooks' ninth double-double was a result of 19 points and 11 rebounds with one steal and an assist.
The contest saw eight lead changes with seven coming in the second half to go along with six tied scores, four of which occurred in the final twenty minutes of play.
A layup by Brooks cut the SAU deficit to a penny at 65-64 with 4:47 to play. The Tigers responded with a three-point bucket to go up four points, but it was an 'and-1' effort from senior guard Aaron Lucas at the 2:33 mark that again brought the Muleriders to within a point of the Tiger lead at 68-67. Over the next 70 seconds, ECU quickly engineered a 7-0 run to lead 74-67 with 1:02 to play. East Central's lead grew to as much as nine points in the final sixty seconds before nestling at four by the final horn.
The Tigers scored ten of the game's first 13 points as ECU built a seven-point advantage at the 13:42 mark of the opening 20 minutes of play. However, the Muleriders, much like Stella, would find their groove and engineer a 14-6 run which led to the visitor's first lead of the contest at 17-16 with 9:11 remaining in the first half.
Aiding that stretch of +8 scoring was junior guard Kris Wyche who delivered eight points on three shots including the go-ahead trifecta. Rogers picked up for Wyche moments later as the Mississippian scored nine of SAU's next 13 points, which included seven straight and a conversion on an old-fashioned three-point play, as the Muleriders built a 30-23 lead just prior to the under-4 media timeout.
Rogers also produced a personal 7-0 run in the second half which gave the Muleriders its last lead of the night at 62-60 with 7:19 left.
Brooks added the final two buckets for the Muleriders in the first half as the Shreveport native entered the intermission a rebound shy of a double-double. SAU led 34-30 after East Central converted a driving shot at the horn to cap the first 20 minutes of action.
ECU dominated inside outscoring the Muleriders by 18 points in the paint in addition to grabbing ten more rebounds.
Lady Tigers 84,
Lady Muleriders 82
After taking the halftime lead after a first half that saw eight lead changes and 11 ties and despite leading for the entire second half, the Southern Arkansas University women's basketball fell in the final seconds of the fourth quarter as East Central University hit two free throws to take 84-82 win. The Muleriders are now 7-5 (2-4 GAC).
For not having played on the road in 34 days, the Lady Mulerider came up short to East Central University, 84-82.
Jessica Jones matched her career high with 17 points, while Diamond Morris connected on 4-of-9 three point attempts and finished with 17 points. Mychala Linzy also hit four threes to give her 13 points and Kisi Young had another strong game as she chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Muleriders led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter at 75-65 (8:13), but ECU would use their largest run of the game (19-7) down the stretch. ECU was able to tie the game at 82-82 with .45 seconds left in the quarter, and the went on to convert to free throws with .04 seconds left to take the 84-82 win.
The Lady Muleriders will also turn their focus to Southeastern Oklahoma State University on today, beginning at 1 p.m