MONTICELLO – Senior forward Brandon Wilson scored a career-high 29 points to lead Arkansas-Monticello to its seventh straight victory, defeating East Central (Okla.) 76-71 on Thursday night.
Wilson finished the game 9-for-16 from the field. The Rayville, La. native was 11-for-16 from the foul line, and added six rebounds and four blocked shots to his final totals.
The Weevils (9-2, 3-1 Great American Conference) opened the game with the first four points, but ended up relinquishing that lead midway through the period to the Tigers (6-5, 3-2 GAC), who led for the final 11 minutes and 18 seconds before Wilson nailed a jumper in the paint at the buzzer to force the game’s third tie and send the teams in the locker room knotted up 39-all at the break.
UAM regained the lead at the 16:21 mark of the second half on a layup from Wilson to spark a quick 6-0 run to put the Weevils up 49-43 with 14:51 remaining. ECU fought back to tie the score twice over the next two minutes before UAM used a 9-0 run capped by a three-pointer from senior Jared Harrison at the 10:04 mark to give UAM a 60-54 advantage.
The Tigers responded to force the game’s seventh tie and take a one-point lead on a pair of free throws from Marquis Walters at the 6:08 mark. UAM regained the lead on the other end on a pair of free throws from Harrison. That was the last lead change of the game, despite one more tie score, the ninth of the night, on a three-pointer from ECU’s A.J. Moutry with 4:14 remaining.
UAM went to the line to seal the win, making 9-of-10 shots in the final four minutes.
Both teams had similar shooting numbers. UAM finished at 42 percent from the field (22-for-52), 33 percent on three-pointers (3-for-9) and 71 percent on foul shots (29-for-41). ECU shot 42 percent from the field (24-for-57), 36 percent on three-pointers (9-for-25) and 70 percent on foul shots (14-for-20). The Tigers made seven three-pointers in the first half and were held to just two in the final 20 minutes.
In addition to Wilson’s career-night, Harrison finished with 16 points and six assists, senior Dayton Mickens had 10 points and seven rebounds, and junior D’Audrio Patton chipped in with 10 points in 13 minutes off the bench.
Brandon Lucas led the Tigers with 15 points. Moutry made four treys in the game for 12 points.
The Weevils are back in action on Saturday at home against Southeastern Oklahoma State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. inside Steelman Fieldhouse.