Rebound, Steal Propel Golden Suns to Win

Two key plays by freshmen in the final 10 seconds allowed Arkansas Tech University to earn a 74-69 Great American Conference women’s basketball win over Oklahoma Baptist University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday.

With the Golden Suns (18-3 overall, 14-3 GAC) leading 71-69 and 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse missed a jump shot from the right wing and grabbed her own offensive rebound. The Suns were able to drain more than five seconds off the clock before Jayana Sanders was fouled.

Sanders made 1-of-2 free throws with 4.7 seconds left to give Tech a 72-69 lead.

Following an Oklahoma Baptist (12-11, 7-10) timeout, Sanders stole the inbound pass and drove for a layup that set the final score as the Golden Suns defeated the Lady Bison for a seventh consecutive meeting and maintained sole possession of second place in the GAC standings.

“We did a good job of executing at the end, got a good shot and Ke’Vonshaye got a huge rebound,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “I thought we played a good game. Our defense was really good. We just missed a lot of shots in the second half that we normally make. Oklahoma Baptist has scorers all over the place. That’s not a team anyone will want to face when we get to the GAC Tournament.”

The Lady Bison came into the day 11th in the nation in scoring offense at 80.2 points per game. Tech held them without a made field goal for the final 5:44 on Saturday.

The Golden Suns opened the game on a 12-0 run. Tech led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but a 13-4 spurt by Oklahoma Baptist made the score 45-39 with 40 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Jacie Higgins made a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to send the Suns to halftime with a 48-39 lead.

Tech shot 5-of-20 from the field during the third quarter, and the Lady Bison took advantage. Oklahoma Baptist grabbed its first lead of the day at 56-54 on a Tasha Edge 3-pointer with 1:18 left in the third period, and the game went to the fourth quarter with the score tied  59-59.

Ryann Goodsell gave the Suns the lead for good with back-to-back layups to begin the fourth quarter. She was 5-of-5 from the field and scored 10 points.

Sanders paced Tech with 14 points. Cheyenne North added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Kylie Ladd had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. Stackhouse and Lyrik Williams notched 10 points apiece for ATU.

Edge scored a game-high 20 points for the Lady Bison.

The Golden Suns will take on the Southern Arkansas University Lady Muleriders at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Thursday, Feb. 15. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.

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