Wonder Boys’ Late Comeback Falls Short

Points off turnovers pushed Ouachita Baptist University to an 82-78 Great American Conference men’s basketball win over Arkansas Tech University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers (6-9 overall, 4-6 GAC) forced the Wonder Boys (11-6, 5-6) into 20 turnovers and held a 31-15 edge in points off turnovers.

Kendarious Smith led Ouachita with 22 points. Jontavis Willis added 17 points.

Tech’s Montrell Williams notched a season-high 26 points. He was 10-of-12 from the field and 6-of-6 at the free throw line. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Alex Brown added a season-high 24 points, while Freddy Lee and R.J. Glasper notched 10 points apiece.

There were 10 lead changes in the first half, the last of which came when Ouachita Baptist closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 45-42 lead at halftime.

The Tigers carried that momentum over to the second half. They put together a 10-2 run that staked them to a 66-54 advantage with 9:38 remaining.

The Wonder Boys rallied and pulled within 79-78 on a 3-point play by Williams with 53 seconds left, but a missed layup and a turnover during Tech’s final two meaningful possessions stopped its comeback bid.

Willis made 2-of-2 free throws with 3.1 seconds left to set the final score.

The Wonder Boys will host Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 7:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Suns Improve to 44-4 at Home Since 2014

Minute by minute, Arkansas Tech University’s full-court defensive pressure slowly wore down the Ouachita Baptist University Lady Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Suns forced OBU into 12 second-half turnovers and pulled away for an 84-67 Great American Conference win at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

After being held scoreless in the category during the first half, Arkansas Tech scored 15 points off turnovers in the second half on its way to a ninth consecutive win over the Lady Tigers.

“It was one of our best of the year,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach, when asked about his team’s second-half defensive effort. “Ouachita is a talented team with a lot of scorers, but they were taking contested shots today because our defense was right with them. We’re in game shape.”

The Golden Suns (13-2 overall, 9-2 GAC) led 34-33 at halftime and 57-50 after three quarters. Tech was 10-of-13 (77 percent) from the field during the fourth quarter and out-scored the Lady Tigers 20-6 over the first 5:41 of the period to open up an insurmountable 77-56 advantage.

Lyrik Williams led Tech with 20 points. She was 9-of-13 from the field. Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse added 15 points, while Kylie Ladd notched 14 points. Tech earned its ninth win in its last 10 games.

Chasidee Owens had a team-high 12 points for Ouachita Baptist (9-7, 5-5).

The Golden Suns will host Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Boll Weevils Top Wonder Boys 94-72

Tyrin Jones scored a career-high 29 points to lead the University of Arkansas-Monticello to a 94-72 Great American Conference men’s basketball victory over Arkansas Tech University at Steelman Field House in Monticello on Thursday night.

Derylton Hill added 24 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season for the Boll Weevils (10-5 overall, 5-4 GAC), while UAM’s Cobe Goosby finished with 21 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Cold shooting by Arkansas Tech (11-5, 5-5) helped the Boll Weevils build a 44-34 halftime lead. The Wonder Boys shot 33 percent (12-of-36) from the field in the opening 20 minutes, including 3-of-16 (19 percent) from 3-point range.

UA-Monticello scored the first eight points of the second half to open a 52-34 edge with 17:45 remaining. The margin never dipped below 16 points for the balance of the proceedings.

Arkansas Tech arrived in Monticello averaging 12.7 made 3-pointers per game, fifth-most in NCAA Division II this season. The Wonder Boys were 6-of-27 (22 percent) from beyond the arc on Thursday.

R.J. Glasper notched 28 points for Tech in the loss. It was his seventh game with 20 or more points this season. Montrell Williams contributed 14 points and seven rebounds for ATU. Harris Brown netted 12 points.

The Wonder Boys will host Ouachita Baptist University for a 3 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday, Jan. 20. Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

3-Point Shooting Gives Suns Easy Win at UAM

Arkansas Tech University remained undefeated against the University of Arkansas-Monticello in women’s basketball since 2009 by defeating the Cotton Blossoms 84-66 at Steelman Field House in Monticello on Thursday night.

Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse notched a career-high 26 points and Kylie Ladd scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Golden Suns (12-2 overall, 8-2 GAC) to their eighth win in their last nine games.

Arkansas Tech built a 46-35 halftime lead on the strength of its 3-point shooting.

The Golden Suns made nine of their first 13 tries from beyond the arc. They led by as many as 18 points in the opening half before UA-Monticello closed the half on a 7-0 run.

Arkansas Tech reclaimed control for good early in the third period, assembling a 9-0 run that gave the Suns a 57-37 edge with 6:52 left in the quarter. Tech maintained at least a 17-point margin the rest of the way.

The Golden Suns finished with a season-high 15 made 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Arkansas Tech was credited with an assist on 28 of its 30 made field goals Thursday night.

“We had some outstanding passing here tonight,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “There were times when we’d pass up a wide open shot to get an even better one. Our players are working hard, and they are getting rewarded.”

Jacie Higgins added 14 points and Jayana Sanders had 10 points for Tech.

Idalis Rubalcava netted 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds for UA-Monticello (5-9, 1-8).

The Golden Suns will host Ouachita Baptist University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday, Jan. 20. Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Glasper Shines, Wonder Boys Win at Harding

R.J. Glasper scored a career-high 35 points to lead Arkansas Tech University to a 98-94 Great American Conference men’s basketball win over Harding University at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Monday night.

Glasper was 12-of-22 from the field, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range. He scored 28 points in the second half to help the Wonder Boys (11-4 overall, 5-4 GAC) hold off the Bisons, end a three-game losing streak at Rhodes-Reaves Field House and end an overall three-game losing streak.

“It makes coaching a lot easier when R.J. gets on a roll like that,” said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. “You just get him the ball and get out of the way. We knew it would come down to the end. I’m happy with the way our guys executed in late-game situations.”

Arkansas Tech scored the first seven points of the game and never relinquished the lead. The Wonder Boys’ margin was as large as 14 points during the opening half. They took a 39-32 advantage to the intermission.

Tech led 86-75 with 5:05 remaining, but Harding made a late push to pull within 96-94 with 10.5 seconds left.

Trevin Woods made 2-of-2 free throws with 9.1 seconds left to set the final score. The Bisons failed to score on their final possession.

Arkansas Tech made 10-of-13 free throws over the final 1:37. Josiah Thomas, who made his Wonder Boys’ debut on Monday night, was 7-of-9 at the free throw line during those final 97 seconds.

“When you put on that Tech uniform, you are expected to perform,” said Kline. “We were going to redshirt (Thomas), but we’ve had so many injuries we needed him. It’s great to have that kind of depth.”

Thomas finished with 14 points. Montrell Williams added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Alex Brown netted 10 points for the Wonder Boys.

Zac Ward scored a career-high 20 points for Harding (1-13, 1-8).

The Wonder Boys will remain on the road for a 7:30 p.m. GAC contest at the University of Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday, Jan. 18. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.