Wonder Boys Cruise Past Reddies 83-69

Grant Prusator scored a season-high 24 points to lead Arkansas Tech University to an 83-69 Great American Conference men’s basketball win over Henderson State University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday night.

Prusator connected on 4-of-5 tries from 3-point range in the first half to help the Wonder Boys (10-4 overall, 6-4 GAC) build a 44-31 halftime lead.

Tech made six of its first eight field goal tries to begin the second half and pull away for good. The Wonder Boys shot 55 percent (31-of-56) from the field for the game, including 10-of-24 from 3-point range.

Prusator finished 8-of-11 from the field and 6-of-9 from the 3-point arc.

“When (Prusator) shoots the ball well, it really opens up a lot of driving lanes for us,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Chad Kline. “Credit Grant. He knows that’s what he does best for us, and he’s really been getting in the gym and working on his shot.”

Montrell Williams added 13 points for Tech, while Bennie Lufile and Justin Graham chipped in 10 points apiece. Freddy Lee notched eight points, five rebounds and a season-high nine assists.

Brad Nairn, Kaylon Tappin and Kevin Kozan scored 12 points apiece for Henderson State (11-5, 6-4).

The Wonder Boys and the nationally 16th-ranked University of Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils will meet at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Steelman Fieldhouse in Monticello. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have play-by-play coverage.

Late Outside Shooting Fuels Suns’ Win

It took two-and-a-half quarters, but when Arkansas Tech University found its 3-point shooting on Thursday night it paved the way to victory.

The nationally 14th-ranked Golden Suns claimed sole possession of second place in the Great American Conference women’s basketball standings with a 68-62 win over Henderson State University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Arkansas Tech (12-2 overall, 8-2 GAC) missed nine of its first 10 tries from 3-point range, but a string of three consecutive makes from beyond the arc late in the third quarter — one each by Anissa Pounds, Kylie Ladd and Calli White — allowed the Suns to earn a 55-47 lead going to the fourth quarter.

The Reddies (7-9, 7-3) battled back to tie the score 59-59 with under four minutes to go.

White stepped forward again for Tech at the 2:43 mark, draining a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Golden Suns the lead for good at 62-59.

“That was a big shot,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “That’s what you expect from your seniors. (White) never flinched. This was a good conference battle tonight.”

Back-to-back layups by Pounds and Danielle Frachiseur extended Tech’s advantage to 66-59, and Pounds made 2-of-2 free throws with 26.3 seconds left to help put it away.

Cheyenne North led the Suns with 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for her third double-double of 2016-17.

Pounds, Frachiseur and Kelsey McClure finished with 14 points apiece for Tech, which defeated Henderson State for a seventh consecutive time.

Hailey Estes, Haleigh Henson and Torrie Thompson netted 13 points apiece for the Reddies.

The Golden Suns will visit the University of Arkansas-Monticello for a 2 p.m. GAC contest against the Cotton Blossoms on Saturday, Jan. 21. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have play-by-play coverage.

Tech Hosts HSU on Military Appreciation Night

Four teams with Great American Conference records above the .500 mark will display their talents during a doubleheader between Arkansas Tech University and Henderson State University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday, Jan. 19.

It will be military appreciation night at Tucker Coliseum. All current military service personnel and veterans will receive free admission. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a small United States flag.

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.

#14 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (11-2, 7-2 GAC) vs. HSU Reddies (7-8, 7-2 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 19, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/www.arkansastechsports.com
Series: Tech leads 60-12

About the Golden Suns: Arkansas Tech’s 10-game winning streak ended on Monday with a 72-58 loss at Harding University. The Golden Suns matched their season low for 3-point field goals made (3) and were held below 40 percent shooting from the field for just the third time this season. Tech has won its last six women’s basketball meetings with Henderson State, including victories of 87-64 in Arkadelphia and 82-54 in Russellville last season.

About the Reddies: Henderson State is tied with Arkansas Tech for second place in the GAC women’s basketball standings. The Reddies have won three of their last four games. They defeated Ouachita Baptist 75-74 on Monday behind a game-winning jump shot by Torrie Thompson with nine seconds remaining. Thompson scored a career-high 20 points in the victory. HSU’s Pink Jones leads GAC freshmen in scoring and ranks No. 3 in the conference overall at 15.6 points per game.

Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (9-4, 5-4 GAC) vs. HSU Reddies (11-4, 6-3 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/www.arkansastechsports.com
Series: HSU leads 78-73

About the Wonder Boys: Arkansas Tech is 6-2 in its last eight games. The Wonder Boys suffered a 92-85 loss at Harding University on Monday. Tech matched its season low in 3-point field goals made (8). Senior forward Bennie Lufile leads the GAC and ranks 18th in NCAA Division II in rebounding (10.4 per game). Lufile had a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds at Harding. The Wonder Boys stopped a three-game losing streak to Henderson State by defeating the Reddies 78-65 in their most recent meeting on Feb. 18, 2016.

About the Reddies: Henderson State dropped a 76-60 decision at Ouachita Baptist on Monday. The Reddies lead the GAC in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.283) and turnover margin (+3.47 per game). Junior guard Kaylon Tappin ranks sixth in the GAC in scoring (16.9 points per game). He was held without a point at OBU, snapping a string of seven consecutive games in which he had reached double figures in scoring.

Bisons Hold Off Wonder Boys 92-85

Stefan Andelkovic scored 29 points to lead Harding University to a 92-85 Great American Conference men’s basketball victory over Arkansas Tech University at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Monday night.

The Bisons (8-5 overall, 5-4 GAC) shot 64 percent from the field in the second half and improved to 6-1 at home this season.

The Wonder Boys (9-4, 5-4) lost for just the second time in their last eight games and remained winless at Rhodes-Reaves Field House since 2014.

“They got it going, and the thing that I thought would be our saving grace was I thought we could get it going with them,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Chad Kline. “We looked tired. Shots that I am used to seeing go in weren’t tonight. If you don’t make shots in here, you’re going to be in trouble.”

The two sides were tied 35-35 at halftime. There were seven ties and seven lead changes during the opening 20 minutes. The Bisons led 33-26 with 4:11 to go in the first half before the Wonder Boys closed the period on a 9-2 run to tie it up at the intermission.

Harding made 13 of its first 19 field goal tries to begin the second half and opened a 73-61 lead on a Will Francis 3-pointer with 7:21 remaining.

The Bisons built an 82-65 edge with 5:35 left. Arkansas Tech rallied and cut its deficit to 87-81 on a Montrell Williams 3-pointer with 53 seconds to go, but that was as close as the Wonder Boys could get. Harding made 5-of-6 free throws over the final 50 seconds to put the win on ice.

Andelkovic was 10-of-16 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range, and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

Will Francis had 18 points and Gojko Djokovic netted a season-high 17 points for the Bisons. Harding’s J.P. Brandon scored 10 of his 14 points after halftime.

Tech’s Bennie Lufile finished with a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Williams (18 points), Justin Graham (14 points) and Freddy Lee (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring.

The Wonder Boys will entertain Henderson State University in GAC action at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday, Jan. 19. Tip-off is set for a 7:30 p.m.

Harding Tops Golden Suns 72-58 in Searcy

Harding University ended Arkansas Tech University’s 10-game winning streak by defeating the Golden Suns 72-58 in Great American Conference women’s basketball action at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Monday night.

The Lady Bisons (12-2 overall, 9-0 GAC) finished with a 34-22 edge in points in the paint as they opened a two-game lead for first place in the league standings.

“If you looked at their shot chart you would see them making a lot of shots in the paint, and if you looked at ours you would see us missing a lot of shots in the paint,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “Credit them defensively. We were too antsy offensively. We were settling for off-balance shots after one or two passes.”

The first half saw four ties and four lead changes. An 8-0 run late in the second quarter by Harding allowed the Lady Bisons to claim a 32-26 edge at the intermission.

Harding stretched its lead to 53-40 after three quarters. Back-to-back baskets by Cheyenne North to begin the fourth quarter gave the Golden Suns (11-2, 7-2) a spark, but Harding called timeout and received consecutive buckets from A’ndrea Haney and Caroline Hogue to push the margin back into double digits for good.

Haney finished with 21 points and five assists. Falan Maller notched 12 points for the Lady Bisons, while Hogue and Sydney Layrock contributed 11 points apiece. Hogue led all players with 10 rebounds.

Kelsey McClure paced Tech in scoring with 14 points.  North had 13 points and eight rebounds. Danielle Frachiseur chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Golden Suns will host Henderson State University for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday, Jan. 19.