Garriga's seven 3-pointers ignite Tigers over Bison

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
OBU's Brantly Thompson (10) goes in for the contested shot against East Central's Romello Wilbert (3) Thursday night at the Noble Complex.

The Oklahoma Baptist University Bison saw their eight-game winning string snapped Thursday night at the Noble Complex.

Matt Garriga's 7 of 7 shooting from 3-point range was one of the major culprits as he finished with a game-high 23 points in East Central University's 78-70 decision over OBU in Great American Conference men's basketball action.

Garriga was 8 of 10 from the field overall and was joined in double figures by Romello Wilbert with 17 and Josh Apple with 14.

The Tigers shot 50.9% from the floor for the game and were 10 of 18 (55.6%) from outside the arc. Jalen Crutchfield nailed two more of those treys and Josh Crutchfield had the other.

Apple had a double-double for ECU as he snatched a game-leading 13 rebounds.

Meanwhile, OBU hit at a 48.1% pace for the game and matched ECU in 3-point makes, but had to do it in 23 attempts.

Both teams were 10 of 15 from the line.

Brantly Thompson topped the Bison scoring effort with 17 points and was one of four double-digit scorers for OBU. Brantly Thompson drained three 3-pointers in the game on eight tries, but was only 6 of 15 from the floor overall.

Jordan Thompson followed with 11 points while Harrison Stoddart and Jarius Hicklen tacked on 10 apiece in a losing cause.

The Tigers not only shot a little better but had a 34-26 rebounding advantage, behind Apple's waxing of the boards.

ECU also totaled 20 assists to the Bison's 14. Wilbert led the Tigers with seven assists. Apple and Tylor Arnold collected five each. Brantly Thompson and Jaquan Simms were OBU's assist leaders with three each.

Simms tossed in nine points and Nigel Wilcox ended up with eight to go with eight rebounds for the Bison.

Trailing 39-32 at the half, OBU appeared to take some early momentum at the outset of the second half after Simms hit the second of two free shots and Thompson buried a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 39-36.

But a 10-0 run, with eight points coming from Garriga, quickly pushed the ECU advantage to 13 points (49-36) with 16:07 remaining. Garriga nailed two treys around a steal and layup to push the Tiger lead back to double digits.

The Bison battled back and pulled within four, 53-49, with 11:55 to go. Brantly Thompson ignited the 11-3 OBU charge with a bucket and scored a layup off the break to get the Bison to within four. Two Jordan Thompson free throws, a dunk from Wilcox and a Simms 3-pointer were highlights during that spurt.

However, seven straight points by ECU led to the Tigers taking control down the stretch. ECU was 8 of 9 from the foul line in the final 10:11.

OBU, 9-4 on the season and 9-3 in the GAC, will try to get back on the winning track Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.