Cold Shooting Dooms Golden Suns at HSU

Henderson State University put together a string of 23 unanswered points in the first half and went on to defeat Arkansas Tech University 75-52 in Great American Conference women’s basketball at the Duke Wells Center in Arkadelphia on Thursday night.

The loss ended Arkansas Tech’s five-game winning streak overall and its eight-game streak against Henderson State. The Reddies earned their first victory over the Golden Suns since an 83-65 triumph four years earlier on Jan. 11, 2014.

Arkansas Tech (9-2 overall, 5-2 GAC) shot a season-low 28 percent from the field (21-of-75), including 7-of-33 (21 percent) in the first half.

“It started off in the first quarter…we were getting a lot of good shots down low, but we couldn’t finish,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “It was one of those nights.”

Pink Jones scored a career-high 26 points for Henderson State (9-4, 5-2), which won its fifth consecutive game.

“(Jones) did whatever she wanted to,” said Wilbers. “We tried several different players, and we didn’t have anyone who could guard her on the perimeter.”

The Reddies led 20-4 after one quarter and 36-16 at halftime. The Golden Suns made a push early in the third quarter and cut Henderson State’s lead to 43-32 with three minutes left in the period, but five straight points by Jones put the Reddies back in control for good.

HSU held a 50-36 edge after three quarters and led by as many as 27 points in the fourth period.

Haleigh Henson notched 18 points and Hailey Estes had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Reddies.

Lyrik Williams had a team-high 13 points for Arkansas Tech.

The Golden Suns will host Southern Arkansas University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday, Jan. 13.

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Arkansas Tech will host a “MLK Day of Remembrance” during Saturday’s game. Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to River Valley Food 4 Kids, and fans can receive half-off admission to the game by donating two canned-good items.

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