The game started with a blocked shot by Ryan Marsh and a defensive rebound by Donovan Bridgeforth. Those two plays set the stage for the game in Ada, Oklahoma, as the Patriots defeated East Central, 94-76, to run their early season record to 2-1.
Playing in Oklahoma for the third time in as many games, the Patriots saw five players score in double digits – led for the second straight game by TJ Clark – and Donovan Bridgeforth collect a dozen rebounds, all on the defensive side of the court. Clark finished with 29 points, Jordan McGowen 19, Nick Fox and Bridgeforth each chipped in 13, and Marsh finished with 11.
“I am really proud of the way we played tonight,” said Head Coach Blake Flickner. “Our energy was great and guys scrambled and played really hard. It was a great team effort defensively and we were very efficient on the offensive side.”
The Patriots took a 44-36 lead into the half after shooting 66.7% percent from the field and hitting on three of their four three point attempts. From the foul line, they shot an almost perfect 13-14 in the first twenty minutes. Defensively, the Patriots held East Central to just 14-36 (38.9%) shooting in the first half and 5-18 (27.8%) from beyond the arc.
The second half was more of the same. After East Central had trimmed the Patriot lead to one point with 18:41 left to go in the game, Dallas Baptist went on a tear, outscoring the Tigers 17-2 over the next five minutes to lead by 16 with just under 14 minutes left to play. ECU was able to cut the lead to five with four minutes left to go, but that was as close as they would get as the Patriots closed out the game on a 17-4 run.
For the game, DBU shot 34-40 (85%) from the free throw line, 4-7 (57.1%) from three point range, and 28-46 (60.9%) from the field. They limited ECU to 41.8% from the field and 31% on three point attempts. DBU won the rebounding battle, 40-30.
The Patriots return to action Saturday night for their first game of the season outside of Oklahoma. Their first game in The Burg Center is Homecoming Night and will pit the Patriots against LeTourneau at 7:00 pm.