Archives for February 2015

Wonder Boys Earn Third Consecutive Win

Arkansas Tech University is heading into the men’s basketball postseason on a roll.

The Wonder Boys extended their winning streak to three consecutive games with an 83-76 Great American Conference win over the University of Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday afternoon at Steelman Fieldhouse in Monticello.

With the win, Arkansas Tech (15-13 overall, 11-9 GAC) will be the No. 5 seed in the men’s bracket at the 2015 GAC Tournament in Bartlesville, Okla.

The Wonder Boys emerged from a back-and-forth affair to end their portion of the regular season on a winning note.

The game saw 10 lead changes and nine ties before Arkansas Tech went on a 21-8 run in the closing minutes to pull away.

Nick Wayman started the surge and gave the Wonder Boys the lead for good at 60-59 with a pair of free throws at the 9:37 mark of the second half.

Branden Williams and D.J. Jethroe scored six points apiece over the next five minutes for Arkansas Tech. Mike Balogun made a 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining to extend the Wonder Boys’ advantage into double figures, and when Jethroe capped the decisive run with a layup at the 3:15 mark, Tech led 79-67.

UA-Monticello pulled back within five points in the final minute, but a Jethroe slam dunk with 32.1 seconds left provided the Wonder Boys with what proved to be their final margin of victory.

Jethroe led five Arkansas Tech players in double figures in scoring with 18 points. He was 9-of-16 from the field.

Tyler Friedel, Balogun and Williams added 13 points apiece. Williams also had a team-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Wayman finished with eight points, while Clarence Willard had eight points, five rebounds and nine assists.

D’Audrio Patton notched 21 points and eight rebounds for the Boll Weevils (7-18, 3-17). The game marked the end of the season for UAM, which failed to qualify for the men’s portion of the GAC Tournament.

Arkansas Tech will face No. 4 seed Southeastern Oklahoma State University (15-13) in an opening-round game at the GAC Tournament on Friday, March 6. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

The Tech-SOSU game can be heard over KWKK 100.9 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

View the complete 2015 GAC Tournament bracket.

Conference Champions Once More

It’s time to make room in the rafters of Tucker Coliseum for yet another championship banner.

Arkansas Tech University clinched a share of the 24th regular season conference title in the 38-year history of its intercollegiate women’s basketball program with a 77-60 Great American Conference road victory over the University of Arkansas-Monticello Cotton Blossoms on Saturday afternoon.

“It feels awesome,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers during the post-game radio interview with Paul Smith on KWKK 100.9 FM. “This is a very, very difficult conference with some tough road trips. It’s almost a survival thing. One thing I’ve seen this last week is a lot of improvement in our basketball team, and a lot of players improving individually. We had a tough week last week. We lost two road games, but we came back, practiced hard and got better. I couldn’t be more proud of this team to win a conference championship. Our offense has been tremendous the last 48 hours.”

The Golden Suns (21-5 overall, 16-4 GAC) shared the GAC regular season championship with Harding University (20-6, 16-4), which defeated Ouachita Baptist University 81-56 on Saturday night.

The Golden Suns built a 33-22 first-half lead on Saturday afternoon by making 14 of their first 23 field goal attempts.

But Arkansas Tech missed its final 10 field goal tries of the half and did not score a point over the final 5:49 of the period, a dry spell that allowed UAM to pull within 33-28 at the intermission.

Tech’s Anissa Pounds set the tone for the second half by making a 3-pointer at the 19:20 mark. Anna Lea Little sparked a 10-2 Golden Suns’ spurt by knocking down a 3-pointer with 15:27 remaining.

When Fatima Adams capped the run with a layup at the 13:35 mark, Arkansas Tech led 53-38.

The margin never dipped below 13 points the rest of the way. Any remaining doubt as to the outcome was removed by a 12-3 Golden Suns’ run that gave them a 72-49 advantage with 4:18 left.

Adams led Arkansas Tech with 18 points and eight rebounds. Katrina Hayden finished with 17 points and five assists for the Suns, while Pounds notched 14 points and seven assists. Little had 11 points.

Hayden, Pounds and Little combined to make 10-of-19 attempts from 3-point range.

Arkansas Tech out-rebounded the Cotton Blossoms 38-21. The Suns accumulated a 22-2 edge in second-chance points.

Nelsha Peterson scored a team-high 15 points for UAM (13-12, 11-9), which saw its seven-game winning streak in home women’s basketball games come to an end.

Arkansas Tech will be the No. 2 seed in the GAC Tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 5, at Bruin Fieldhouse in Bartlesville, Okla.

The Golden Suns’ first-round opponent will be Henderson State University (10-16). The Reddies are the No. 7 seed in the GAC Tournament after completing the regular season with a conference record of 8-12.

Tip-off for Arkansas Tech and Henderson State is set for 2:15 p.m. Thursday. The game can be heard over KWKK 100.9 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

View the complete 2015 GAC Tournament bracket.

Paris Polar Plunge Rescheduled for March 7

The annual Paris Polar Plunge scheduled for Feb. 28 has been postponed due to inclement weather and road conditions. Organizers have rescheduled the event for Saturday, March 7.

This is the second time this year the event has been rescheduled due to inclement weather. The original date of Feb. 21 was rescheduled to Feb. 28.

Check back with arkansastechnews.com for any updates on this event.

Eight is Great: Softball Extends Win Streak

Nationally 13th-ranked Arkansas Tech University remained undefeated for the 2015 softball season by sweeping a Great American Conference doubleheader from East Central University at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex in Russellville on Friday afternoon.

The Golden Suns (8-0 overall, 2-0 GAC) defeated the ECU Tigers 3-1 and 12-9.

East Central (5-9, 2-2) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end.

The two sides were scheduled to play another doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 28, but it was canceled due to inclement weather.

Arkansas Tech’s next scheduled softball twin bill is set for Tuesday, March 3, against Fort Hays State University. The games are scheduled to be played in Wichita, Kan., beginning at 10 a.m.

Game One: Tech 3, ECU 1

Victoria Huie pitched a complete game to lead Arkansas Tech to a 3-1 victory in the opener of Friday’s doubleheader.

Huie (4-0) scattered seven hits over seven innings. She struck out six Tigers.

The Golden Suns scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. Whitney Robinson and Courtney Colunga both delivered run-scoring singles during the rally, while Shanna Davidson scored on a wild pitch.

ECU starting pitcher Marissa Shaffer (1-5) took the loss. She was charged with three runs on five hits over five innings.

Game Two: Tech 12, ECU 9

A five-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed Arkansas Tech to come from behind and defeat East Central 12-9 in the nightcap.

Colunga led off the last of the sixth with a home run to tie the score 8-8. Kambri Hill drew a walk to set the stage for Chelsea Reeves, who hit a two-run home run to put the Golden Suns in front for good.

The onslaught continued with a Davidson two-run home run to make it 12-8 going to the seventh and final inning.

East Central scored one run in its final at-bat, but Arkansas Tech reliever Morgan Vaughan (2-0) struck out ECU’s Lauren Reeves to leave the bases loaded and preserve the Suns’ victory.

Colunga was 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, while Davidson went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. They both homered twice. Hill scored three runs.

Tiger reliever Brianna Nunley (1-1) was the losing pitcher.  She surrendered three runs on three hits in one inning.

Samantha McGraw was 3-for-4 with six RBIs in a losing effort for ECU.

Boating Education Canceled Feb. 28

The boating education class scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 28, at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Check with arkansastechnews.com in times of inclement weather for updates.