The East Central men's basketball team is set to take on arch rival Southeastern Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. for its annual rivalry in Ada at the Kerr Activities Center. Fans are asked to blackout the arena by wearing black in support of the ECU Tigers.
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.
Southeastern is 10-5 overall and 6-3 in the Great American Conference this season after winning their last game at home, 82-78, against Southern Nazarene.
The Savage Storm has three players that are averaging double-digit point totals and account for 53 percent of the team's rebounding. All three have grabbed over 100 rebounds, with the next highest total on the team being 55.
Chris Roussell leads the team with 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .518 from the field and .477 from three-point range. Steven Kohli is next with 12.3 points and 6.7 boards per game. Mateus Oliveria is the final member of the trio, with 10.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while shooting .607 from the floor.
Southeastern has a +6.0 scoring and +6.1 rebounding margin on the season. They are shooting .472 from the field and allowing a .413 mark, while also hitting .397 of their triples. The Savage Storm has advantages in almost all of the statistical categories, except ball control. Southeastern is recording two more turnovers per game and almost two fewer steals per game.
Against the Savage Storm
Last year ECU fell to Southeastern in both series meetings, but the games were kept close. That was reflected in the box score, with the biggest difference being a +8.5 rebounding advantage for the Tigers.
The top returners from a season ago for Southeastern are Chirs Roussell and Steven Kohli. Roussell garnered 13 points per game, while Kohli added 11 points and six rebounds per game.
The all-time series with the Savage Storm is the second longest in school history, with the teams not facing each other in just four seasons since 1927-28. Those four years include two (1942-43 and 1943-44) when ECU did not field a team during World War II. The series is one of the best rivalries in the conference, with the difference in the 163 meetings being one game. Southeastern currently holds an 82-81 lead in the series after winning the last two meetings.
This Thursday's game is the annual Blackout Game. Fans are encouraged to wear black in support of ECU, as both the men's and women's basketball teams will be wearing their road black jerseys. The first 200 fans will receive a free Blackout t-shirt, courtesy of Patriot Ford and Valley View Regional Hospital.
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 5-10 overall and one win away from surpassing 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).
Carr's Career Numbers
Junior Colby Carr had a career day for the Tigers against Langston, recording his first career double-double. The New Orleans, La., native tallied career highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds for the second double-double of the season for an ECU player.
Williams All-Tourney Honors
Junior Jason Williams led the Tigers in both games at the Taco Bell Texans Tip-Off Classic and was rewarded with All-Tournament honors. Williams tallied 22 points and 12 boards, while shooting .700 (7-of-10) from the field and .615 (8-of-13) from the charity stripe in the two-game tournament.
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 finish the week at Harding, Saturday Jan. 26 for a 4 p.m. game. The game marks the start of the second half of GAC play.