Golden Suns Dominant in Win Over JBU

Head coach Abby Davis and the Arkansas Tech University tennis team made their spring 2017 home debut on Thursday with a 9-0 non-conference victory over John Brown University at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex in Russellville.

The Golden Suns (6-0) will host Henderson State University for a 2 p.m. match at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Admission will be free.

Arkansas Tech 9, John Brown University 0
Thursday, Feb. 23 @ Russellville

DOUBLES
Teresa Sanchez/Annabel Rowlands (ATU) def. Taylor Russell/Eva Berry (JBU) 8-0
Haeleigh Long/Vandella Suico (ATU) def. Caitlin King/Grace Cusick (JBU) 8-2
Kami Ward/Maria Vlaskina (ATU) def. Clare Holden/Julia McNeill (JBU) 8-2

SINGLES
Teresa Sanchez (ATU) def. Taylor Russell (JBU) 6-0, 6-0
Annabel Rowlands (ATU) def. Eva Berry (JBU) 6-1, 6-0
Kami Ward (ATU) def. Julia McNeill (JBU) 6-0, 6-0
Haeleigh Long (ATU) def. Clare Holden (JBU) 6-0, 6-1
Vandella Suico (ATU) def. Grace Cusick (JBU) 6-1, 6-0
Maria Vlaskina (ATU) def. Claire Griffin (JBU) 6-1, 6-1

Donzo’s Dunk Does In Wonder Boys

Ishmael Donzo’s slam dunk and subsequent free throw with 7.7 seconds remaining gave East Central University a 76-73 victory over Arkansas Tech University in Great American Conference men’s basketball at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada, Okla., on Thursday night.

With the loss, the Wonder Boys (20-5 overall, 16-5 GAC) fell out of a tie for first place in the GAC standings going into the final day of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25.

“It felt like a high-level game in here tonight,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Chad Kline. “We weren’t great by any means, but I felt like we were good enough to win. The difference in the game was rebounding. (ECU) is too good offensively to give them multiple opportunities.”

The Tigers (20-7, 16-5) out-rebounded the Wonder Boys 51-36 and finished with 17 second-chance points.

The first half was marked by a piece of Arkansas Tech history. Grant Prusator’s 3-pointer at the 11:21 mark of the opening period was the 297th made trey of the season for the Wonder Boys, breaking the school record of 296 3-pointers in a season set by the 1994-95 Arkansas Tech men’s basketball team.

That 3-pointer also staked the Wonder Boys to a 22-10 lead. East Central chipped away and took a 37-36 lead on a pair of Donzo free throws with 24.2 seconds left in the half. Justin Graham answered with a 14-foot jumper with three seconds showing to send Tech to halftime with a 38-37 edge.

It remained close throughout the second half. Trevin Woods’ eighth 3-pointer of the night gave the Wonder Boys a 73-69 lead with 2:02 remaining, but those turned out to be their final points of the night.

Put-back baskets off offensive rebounds by Aly Hudgins and Braxton Reeves pulled the Tigers even at 73-73 with 52 seconds left, and Donzo’s 3-point play in the closing moments gave them the win.

Tech was fouled on the floor before it could attempt a game-tying 3-pointer, and time ran out on the Wonder Boys’ 11-game winning streak.

Woods finished with a season-high 26 points. Tech’s Bennie Lufile notched 14 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double of 2016-17.

Reeves had 17 points for East Central, which moved into a tie for second place in the GAC standings alongside Arkansas Tech.

The Wonder Boys will close out the 2016-17 regular season when they visit Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 3 p.m. GAC contest at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla., on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.

Too Many Turnovers for Golden Suns

Turnover margin propelled East Central University to a 67-55 Great American Conference women’s basketball victory over nationally 22nd-ranked Arkansas Tech University at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada, Okla., on Thursday night.

The Tigers (13-12 overall, 12-9 GAC) forced the Golden Suns into 18 turnovers and committed just eight of their own as ECU extended its winning streak to seven games.

“(East Central) played really well,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “We fell into their tempo. We turned it over a lot, and we missed free throws. When you do that on the road, you’re going to get beat. We didn’t deserve to win tonight.”

East Central finished with a 17-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Despite the loss, the Golden Suns (20-5, 16-5) clinched the No. 2 seed in the GAC Tournament thanks to Harding University’s 84-72 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

There were 11 lead changes and three ties during the opening half of the Tech-ECU game.

Arkansas Tech claimed a 28-26 edge with 1:19 left in the second quarter following back-to-back 3-pointers by Anissa Pounds and Calli White. ECU answered with an Aalyiah Blakley 3-pointer and a Jalyn Jackson layup to carry a 31-28 advantage to halftime.

The Golden Suns missed their first seven field goal tries of the second half. East Central took advantage, building a 39-30 lead at the 7:02 mark of the third quarter.

The Tigers led 47-39 at the end of three quarters. The closest Tech could get in the fourth quarter was 56-50 after a Pounds 3-pointer with 4:13 left, but Blakley answered with a trey of her own to push the margin back to nine points.

East Central sealed the deal by making 8-of-10 free throws over the final 2:16.

Pounds had 14 points and Danielle Frachiseur notched 10 points for the Golden Suns. Cheyenne North added eight points and 11 rebounds.

Devon Branch paced the Tigers with 16 points.

The Golden Suns will play their final game of the 2016-17 regular season when they visit Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla., on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.

Suns, Wonder Boys Move Up in Rankings

Arkansas Tech University’s basketball teams both advanced in the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings released on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The Wonder Boys (20-4 overall, 16-4 Great American Conference) moved to No. 3 in the men’s regional rankings, up from the No. 6 spot they occupied one week earlier.

The Golden Suns (20-4, 16-4) moved forward two positions to No. 5 in the women’s regional rankings.

The regional rankings are used to determine the participants in the NCAA Division II Basketball Tournament.

Postseason men’s and women’s conference tournament champions from the Great American Conference, Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional.

The remainder of the regional fields will be filled by five at-large bids, which will go to teams based upon their ranking in the region.

View the complete men’s regional rankings.

View the complete women’s regional rankings.

Frandsen Finishes Top-5 in Austin

Back-to-back rounds of 3-over par 73 earned Arkansas Tech University’s Anna Frandsen a share of fifth place in the final individual standings at the 2017 St. Edward’s University Invitational at Onion Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday.

Frandsen (photographed) was named Great American Conference women’s golf player of the week in recognition of her performance.

The Golden Suns finished fifth in the team standings at Austin with team scores of 296-307 for a 603 total. The University of Indianapolis won the team title with a 36-hole total of 586. A total of 15 teams competed.

Jessica Sachs (T-25th, 70-82-152), Pia Nunbhakdi (T-25th, 75-77-152), Caroline Fredensborg (43rd, 78-80-158) and Avery Struck (T-51st, 85-77-162) also contributed to Arkansas Tech’s team score.

The Golden Suns will return to action March 6-7 at the Southern Nazarene University Diffee Ford Lincoln Invitational in Edmond, Okla.