Arkansas Tech University senior point guard Bobby Hatchett delivered the perfect birthday gift for his head coach on Saturday evening.
Hatchett made 2-of-2 free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to give the Wonder Boys a 58-57 victory over nationally sixth-ranked Midwestern State University in the final game of a Thanksgiving weekend classic at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
The win ensured a happy birthday for Arkansas Tech head men’s basketball coach Doug Karleskint and gave the Wonder Boys (5-2) their second win over a nationally-ranked foe in less than 24 hours. Tech defeated 21st-ranked Northeastern State University 73-68 on Friday night.
Hatchett scored 16 points and made 10-of-12 free throws in a performance that was reminiscent of a similar outcome on Dec. 15, 2012, when he scored 22 points and made 14-of-18 free throws to lead the Wonder Boys to a 75-73 double overtime victory at Midwestern State.
The Mustangs (5-2) held the lead for more than 38 of the 40 minutes at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday. Midwestern State led 34-24 at halftime and by as many as 14 points early in the second half. A 17-5 run over a span of 6:07 midway through the second half allowed Arkansas Tech to tie the score 47-47 with 7:05 left.
Eight straight points from point guard Monzaigo Williams helped the Mustangs rebuild a 57-49 lead, but his 3-pointer with 4:03 left turned out to be the final points of the game for Midwestern State.
The Wonder Boys closed the game on a 9-0 run to improve to 4-1 all-time against the Mustangs.
Arkansas Tech’s Bryson Fletcher scored all 14 of his points after halftime. The Wonder Boys were 28-of-38 (74 percent) from the free throw line.
Williams led Midwestern State with 14 points and five assists.
Arkansas Tech will return to Great American Conference play when it hosts Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 7:30 p.m. game at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Dec. 5.