Archives for January 2010

Big Road Test Ahead For No. 1 Wonder Boys

It will be the defending NCAA Division II South Region champions hosting the current No. 1 team in the country when the Christian Brothers Buccaneers welcome the top-ranked Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys to Canale Arena in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday.
 
Tip-off between the Buccaneers (14-5 overall, 4-2 Gulf South Conference) and the Wonder Boys (18-0, 5-0) is set for 7 p.m. Monday. Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live play-by-play coverage.
 
Christian Brothers made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last season. The Buccaneers were expected to take a step backward in 2009-10 after losing All-America post Nick Kohs and All-GSC guard Reggie Peyton to graduation.
 
But that has not been the case, thanks in large part to the emergence of 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Zack Warner. The St. Louis, Mo., native averaged just 4.1 points per game for CBU last season, but this year he leads the GSC West in scoring at 19.2 points per outing.
 
“They still have the same complexion about them, but their personnel is different,” said Downey when asked about preparing for CBU in the post-Kohs era. “They miss (Kohs), and I think they miss Reggie Peyton just as much. They don’t rebound it as well as they did before, and they don’t have that shot-blocking presence inside.
 
“Zack Warner shoots it a heck of a lot better than Kohs did,” continued Downey. “That provides a challenge defensively. They shoot a lot more (3-pointers) than they have in the past. They’re young, and they’re getting there. It’s going to be a tough game.”
 
The Buccaneers proved they could also get it done without Warner on Thursday night in a 56-41 win at Southern Arkansas. With Warner out due to illness, CBU out-rebounded the Muleriders 35-13 and closed the game on a 26-10 run to earn the victory.

Christian Brothers is the sixth-best team in the nation when it comes to protecting the basketball. The Bucs commit just 11.5 turnovers per game.

“We’re still going to try to force the tempo, pressure the ball and make them work,” said Downey. “They have three guys averaging 35 minutes or more per game and four guys playing 30 minutes or more. They don’t like to go deep into that bench, so we need to force the tempo, get it up the floor, force them to foul us and wear them out a little bit. I don’t think we’re going to force 30 turnovers like we have a couple of times this year, but hopefully we can get them up in the high teens and get some easy baskets in transition.”
 
Tech has been idle since an 88-77 home win over Delta State on Saturday, Jan. 23. Senior guard Brandon Friedel had 26 points and junior forward Jeremy Dunbar netted 18 points in the victory.
 
Monday will mark the first time that the Wonder Boys and the Buccaneers have met since CBU defeated Tech 65-63 in Memphis on the final day of the 2008-09 regular season.
 
The Wonder Boys saw that game — and with it a share of the GSC West Division title — slip through their fingers in the closing moments. It is a loss that Downey still feels, and he hopes memories of that setback will spur his team on Monday.
 
“Guys that are back from last year, they should remember it,” said Downey. “I hope that they do take it a little bit personal and understand that this is conference championship time. That’s our goal. We’ve just got to keep winning one at a time, and this is the next one.
 
“We’ve had good practices and good effort,” continued Downey. “Knowing our guys and knowing what they’ve done all year, I think we are fueled up.”

After its trip to CBU, Tech will head to Magnolia on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest against Southern Arkansas. The Wonder Boys will return home to host Arkansas-Monticello at 6 p.m. Saturday at Tucker Coliseum.

No. 7 Golden Suns Visit CBU Monday

Perimeter shooting might be the biggest key to victory for the nationally seventh-ranked Arkansas Tech Golden Suns when they visit the Christian Brothers Lady Buccaneers on Monday.
 
Tip-off between the Golden Suns (18-0 overall, 5-0 Gulf South Conference) and the Lady Buccaneers (13-5, 4-2) is set for 5 p.m. Monday at Canale Arena in Memphis, Tenn.
 
Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast, which will also be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.
 
Christian Brothers ranks among the top three teams in the GSC in field goal percentage defense, but that is built mostly upon strong post defense.

The Lady Buccaneers have proven vulnerable to the 3-point shot. They rank 13th in the GSC and 207th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.338).

Arkansas Tech, which leads the GSC and ranks third nationally in scoring offense (83.6 points per game), has the weapons to take advantage of that CBU weakness.

Junior guard Jenny Vining leads NCAA Division II in 3-point field goals per game (4.1), and she ranks ninth in the country in scoring (20.4 points per game).

Vining has already made 74 3-pointers this season, which is tied four fourth-most by a Golden Sun in a single season ever. She needs 25 more successful tries from beyond the arc to break the school record of 98 3-pointers set by Mindy Lasater during Tech’s NCAA Division II national runner-up season in 1998-99.

Add in sophomore forward Katie Horsman (19-of-42, 45 percent from 3-point range), and the Golden Suns have two proven shooters that could add to the Lady Buccaneers’ defensive woes on the perimeter.

“We are pretty consistent shooting the 3-point shot,” said Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “We’ll look to get some 3-point shots off. I’d like to see us get some 3-point shots in transition and then follow up with some rebounds and put backs. We’ve talked with our team about how important it will be to get in good offensive rebounding position.

“I think our style and their style will make it an exciting game,” continued Wilbers. “I’ll be surprised if they don’t want to get up and down the floor and maybe press a little bit, too. Maybe we can get into our bench, which I hope we can because I like our depth and our bench.”

Christian Brothers will enter Monday on a three-game winning streak. The Lady Bucs went to Magnolia and defeated Southern Arkansas 71-64 on Thursday behind 21 points from Tameka Wooten.

CBU made 28-of-36 (78 percent) from the free throw line in the victory.

The Golden Suns have had more than a week to bask in the glow of their 56-47 win over then second-ranked Delta State on Saturday, Jan. 23.

It was Tech’s first women’s basketball win over DSU since 2005, and it vaulted the Suns into sole possession of first place in the GSC West.

The Suns have seen two games postponed by inclement weather since their victory over the Lady Statesmen, and that will make for a very busy week starting Monday.

After its trip to CBU, Tech will head to Magnolia on Thursday, Feb. 4, for a 5:30 p.m. contest against Southern Arkansas. Then, the Suns will return home to host Arkansas-Monticello at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Tucker Coliseum.

Saturday’s Basketball Games Postponed

Winter weather has once again forced a change in the Arkansas Tech basketball schedule.

The doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30, in Memphis, Tenn., between Arkansas Tech and Christian Brothers has been pushed back two days.

The women’s contest between the nationally seventh-ranked Golden Suns (18-0 overall, 5-0 Gulf South Conference) and the CBU Lady Buccaneers (13-5, 4-2) will now be played at 5 p.m. Monday.

The men’s contest between the nationally top-ranked Wonder Boys (18-0, 5-0) and the CBU Buccaneers has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday.

Both games will be played at Canale Arena. Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live play-by-play coverage of the twin bill.

The latest postponement sets the stage for a busy week for the Arkansas Tech basketball teams.

After visiting Christian Brothers on Monday, the Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys will travel to Magnolia on Thursday, Feb. 4, for a regularly scheduled doubleheader against Southern Arkansas. Those games will be played at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, Tech will host Arkansas-Monticello for a doubleheader at Tucker Coliseum. Game times will be 4 and 6 p.m.

The Tech-UAM games were originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, but like the CBU games they were postponed because of inclement weather.

Ice Skating Postponed

 

Young alumni from Arkansas Tech will not meet in Little Rock on Saturday for ice skating.  The event is being postponed due to the inclement weather in the River Valley and in Central Arkansas.

Alumni were scheduled to gather at the Arkansas Skatium Saturday for an afternoon of ice skating and visiting.  Alison Parks, coordinator of young alumni, says she will work to reschedule the event as soon as possible.

The Arkansas Tech Alumni Association hosts numerous events for alumni throughout the year.  Learn more about the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association.

Music Recital Postponed

The Arkansas Tech Department of Music has announced it is postponing a recital scheduled for this weekend.

Emily Guadanini was scheduled to give a voice recital Saturday, but the performance is being postponed due to the weather.

Officials from the Department of Music say the recital will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

To find out more, contact the Department of Music at 479-968-0368.