Archives for December 2016

Wonder Boys Win on Record-Breaking Day

Historic performances by Alex Brown and Bennie Lufile lifted Arkansas Tech University to a 91-88 non-conference men’s basketball win in overtime over the Missouri S&T Miners at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.

Brown scored 40 points — most by a Wonder Boy in more than 11 years — and Lufile collected a school-record 22 rebounds as Arkansas Tech (6-2) improved to 5-0 at home this season.

“Bennie was huge on the glass,” said Wonder Boys head coach Chad Kline. “Rebounding and transition defense were going to be the keys to the game, and he took it to heart. When Alex gets it going, you’d better watch out. (Brown) is in better shape than he was early in the season, and that is allowing him to play more minutes.”

Brown was 16-of-22 from the field, including 7-of-11 from 3-point range.

His 40 points were the most in a single game by a Wonder Boy since Denarryl Rice had 40 points against Lincoln University on Nov. 25, 2005. Brown is the 15th student-athlete in the 102-year history of Arkansas Tech men’s basketball to score 40 or more points in a game.

Eleven of Lufile’s record-breaking 22 rebounds were of the offensive variety. The previous Arkansas Tech men’s basketball record for rebounds in a game was 19, which was established by David Bevis against the University of the Ozarks on Jan. 12, 1995.

Seven consecutive made field goals to begin the game allowed Arkansas Tech to race out to a 17-4 lead with 17:16 left in the first half.

Missouri S&T (7-3) fought back and pulled within three points of the lead at 27-24 with 6:40 to go in the half.

Brown owned the final four minutes of the opening period. He scored 14 points during that span, including four made 3-pointers, and the Wonder Boys stretched their lead to 49-36 at the intermission.

The Miners came all the way back in the second half, taking their first lead of the day at 78-75 with 3:16 left in regulation on an Ervin Sarajlic 3-pointer.

Lufile, who scored 18 points, made 1-of-2 free throws with 12.8 seconds left in the second half to tie the score at 80-80 and ultimately force overtime.

Brown gave the Wonder Boys a lead they would not relinquish by scoring Tech’s first six points in the extra period.

Arkansas Tech maintained its advantage by making 5-of-8 free throws over the final 1:08.

Missouri S&T’s Randy Holmes tried to force a second overtime with a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, but it went off the backboard and off the rim before falling harmlessly to the floor.

Montrell Williams finished with 11 points for the Wonder Boys, while Justin Graham had seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Holmes and Scott Dulan paced the Miners with 15 points apiece.

The Wonder Boys will return to action when they host Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 7:30 p.m. Great American Conference contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 5. A women’s game between Tech and SOSU will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

OneTech Portal Upgrades Continue

The Office of Information Systems at Arkansas Tech University has completed a project intended to improve access to the revised OneTech portal.

As of Dec. 29, 2016, all user accounts have been imported and correct roles have been assigned.

Any users who have problems logging in to the OneTech portal are asked to send e-mail to campussupport@atu.edu.

Wonder Boys, Miners Meet Saturday at Tucker

Arkansas Tech University and Missouri S&T will meet in men’s basketball for the first time in almost two decades when they collide in non-conference action at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday, Dec. 31.

The Wonder Boys and the Miners have not crossed paths since Missouri S&T escaped Tucker Coliseum with a 69-68 road win over Tech on Dec. 30, 1997.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Those with a valid Arkansas Tech identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (5-2) vs. Missouri S&T Miners (7-2)
When: Saturday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m.
Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville 
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/www.arkansastechsports.com
Series: Tied 2-2

About the Wonder Boys: Arkansas Tech is 4-0 at home this season. It has won six consecutive non-conference home games dating back to last season. Junior guard Montrell Williams (13.4 points per game), sophomore guard Alex Brown (12.7 points per game), senior forward Bennie Lufile (12.3 points per game) and senior guard Grant Prusator (10.7 points per game) are the Wonder Boys’ leading scorers this season.

About the Miners: Missouri S&T has not played a regular season game since dropping a 92-72 decision at Drury University on Dec. 10. The Miners average 91.1 points per game, which ranks 14th in NCAA Division II. Missouri S&T needs one more win to match its total for the entire 2015-16 season, when it finished 8-19. The Miners have not had a winning season since 1996-97.

View Graduation Photos and Videos

Arkansas Tech University awarded nearly 700 degrees during Commencement ceremonies at Tucker Coliseum over the weekend.

Students earning degrees were recognized during one of three ceremonies.

Prior to each ceremony, students were also able to pay tribute to those who helped them succeed.

2016 Fall Graduation: Master's Ceremony | 12/16/16

2016 Fall Graduation: 10am Ceremony | 12/17/16

2016 Fall Graduation: 2pm Ceremony | 12/17/16

Tech Student Joins Fraternity at Age 70

Gary Fryer has found a set of brothers among a group of men young enough to be his grandsons at Arkansas Tech University.

Fryer enrolled at Arkansas Tech for the fall 2016 semester at the age of 70 as a graduate of and transfer from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

During orientation activities at Tech, he attended the annual Involvement Fair on the Hindsman Tower lawn. The event connects new Tech students with community entities and campus organizations.

It was there that Fryer met the men of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

“They had all the booths set up, and I went by the Kappa Sig one,” said Fryer. “I had a badge on saying I was a transfer student, so they could recognize that and know I wasn’t just some old goof ball. They spoke real friendly and so did the other fraternities, but I guess I responded more to (Kappa Sigma).”

There are several reasons why the connection was immediate.

Fryer’s older brother, Jack, joined Kappa Sigma at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville during the 1960s.

Attending fraternity events with his brother while he was still a junior in high school introduced Fryer to the camaraderie and brotherhood of the organization.

Fryer’s younger brother, Robert, as well as his father-in-law, son-in-law and multiple business associates and friends over the years were also members of Kappa Sigma.

And now, more than a half-century after he first developed an affinity for the organization, Fryer is a member of Kappa Sigma at Arkansas Tech.

“I have a bunch of 18 or 19-year old brothers,” said Fryer. “I have a group of young men who aren’t afraid to pat me on the back or hug me around the shoulder. They told me they thought it would be great having me in there because I may have experience and be able to give them advice. I told them I don’t give advice. I’ll share experiences with you, and I’ve been through all the experiences you’re going to go through, so I’d love to do that.”

Those experiences include a previous attempt at college.

A graduate of Little Rock Hall High School, Fryer came to Arkansas Tech in 1964 to play football for head coach Marvin “Shorty” Salmon. He was a letterman as a back-up tackle on the Wonder Boys’ 1964 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championship team.

Fryer dropped out of college following the spring 1965 semester and returned to Little Rock to pursue a career in his family’s furniture business.

“I’ve done a little bit of nearly everything in the furniture business that you can do,” said Fryer. “I’ve built it, picked it up, delivered it and sold it. I loved what I was doing for many years. Consumer goods independent representing was a really good business for decades. My father got in it just about the time I came to school. He did quite well and I did too for a good while, but we kind of paradigmed out of that.”

Fryer retired to the hills north of Morrilton, the same area where his father had been raised. With time on his hands and a curious mind, he checked into the educational opportunities available at UACCM.

“I just wanted to see if I could pass a course,” said Fryer.

He did much more than that, earning an associate degree.

“I loved every minute of it, and I was making honor grades,” said Fryer.

The next logical step was the pursuit of a bachelor degree. There were two options equidistant from his home — Arkansas Tech University and the University of Central Arkansas.

In the end, the green and gold still coursing through his veins more than 50 years after his final game as a Wonder Boy helped him make the decision.

“Conway might be more practical because I do go to Little Rock a lot to see my family,” said Fryer. “But when I played (at Tech), the ASTC Bears, Arkansas State Teachers College, were our death rival. In 2016, I still could not fathom going to the school where the Bears are.”

Fryer noted that, at least in part due to his age, he doesn’t like to think in terms of end goals. He does, however, have some ideas on where his educational journey could lead.

“I’m 70 years old, so taking a breath every few seconds is a pretty good goal,” said Fryer. “I’m kind of a one thing at a time kind of person. As a salesman, I sold concepts and ideas. I had a lot of people tell me I’d be a good teacher. One day at a time and one step at a time, I’m going to get a degree. I think I’d love adjunct teaching on a part-time basis, so I have a possible goal. That would be pretty cool. I could take the place of some guy who retired in his 60s and be some kind of good influence on someone else’s life.”

Perhaps that philosophy of paying it forward is at the center of Fryer’s unlikely path to fraternity membership at the age of 70. Even more significant, and more deeply felt, is the connection that joining Kappa Sigma allows him to maintain with his brother (both in blood and fraternity), Jack. He passed away in 2015.

“There are a lot of times I wish I could tell (Jack) about it,” said Fryer. “I’d like to sit down with him and have a good laugh over it. I haven’t sat around and wished I’d been a Kappa Sig all these years, but when I would see old Kappa Sigs…I was in their social circle, but I wasn’t one of them. Now that I am, it’s kind of fun.”