ADA – Abilene Christian shot 52.5 percent for the game and took advantage of East Central foul problems to knock off the Tigers 86-79 Saturday in men's Lone Star Conference crossover basketball action at the Kerr Activities Center.
Senior guard Eric Allen poured in 23 points and junior forward Wayne Andrews added 21 for the Tigers, who lost their fifth straight and fell to 5-9 on the season.
Andrews, who finished with a double-double, converted 7-of-11 shots from the floor, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with 12 rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and an assist. He drew his fourth foul with 8:22 to go and was forced to sit for several minutes before picking up his fifth and exiting with 1:59 remaining.
Meanwhile, Allen hit 8-of-16 shots, including 6-of-11 from long range. He was whistled for his fourth foul with 2:56 left.
Denarius Darby finished with 14 points, five boards, three assists and a pair of steals for ECU, while Maurice Abraham chipped in 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Eddie Thompson paced the Wildcats with 22 points. Marcus Washington and Giordan Cole followed with 12 apiece and Kevin White had 10 for ACU, which improved to 7-8 on the year.
The Tigers shot 44.3 percent for the game, including 59.3 in the second half (16-of-27). But the hosts couldn't overcome 22 turnovers, compared to the Wildcats' 17.
ECU, which trailed 39-35 at the half, built a pair of five-point leads on a 3-pointer apiece from Allen, which made it 52-47, and from Darby, which made it 55-50. An Abraham free throw even pushed the advantage to 56-50 with 14:29 remaining.
But ACU responded with a 12-0 run to stay on top for good, keyed by an old-fashioned 3-point play from Preston Davis. The Tigers went scoreless on seven straight possessions during that span
However, ECU went down fighting, getting to within 71-69 on a Justin Prothro steal and layup with 7:17 to go. The Tigers got to within 84-79 with :54 remaining off an Allen trey.
But a Ben Warton dunk off a Cole feed with 39 seconds left put the game out of reach.
Avery finished with a game-high eight assists for ECU.
The Tigers will try to get back on the winning track Wednesday as they hosts Central Oklahoma to launch LSC North play at 8 p.m. inside the Kerr Center.