Amazing Grace Propels Wonder Boys to Win

Jerami Grace scored a career-high 38 points to carry Arkansas Tech University to an 87-84 men’s basketball victory over Oklahoma Baptist University at the Noble Complex in Shawnee, Okla., on Thursday night.

Grace was 13-of-17 from the field, including 9-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc, and he blocked a potential game-tying 3-pointer by the Bison in the final 10 seconds to preserve the Wonder Boys’ eighth consecutive win.

“(Grace) played his tail off tonight, didn’t he?” said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. “We knew he would have some opportunities because Oklahoma Baptist likes to play zone defense. We were struggling early on, and when Jerami got his chance he took advantage.”

A junior guard from Dallas, Texas, Grace had scored 47 points all season before Thursday night. His previous single-game high in scoring was 10 points.

Oklahoma Baptist (5-6 overall, 2-3 Great American Conference) jumped out to a 13-3 lead over the first five minutes.

Arkansas Tech (10-1, 4-1) came back behind 18 first-half points from Grace, who was 5-of-5 from 3-point range and 3-of-3 at the free throw line over the first 20 minutes.

As a result, the Wonder Boys led 45-43 at the intermission following an opening half that saw five ties and nine lead changes.

At the end, it was defense that made the difference for ATU. The Wonder Boys held the Bison scoreless over the final 2:34.

R.J. Glasper finished with 14 points and Montrell Williams had 10 points for the Wonder Boys. Freddy Lee dished out nine assists.

Chandler Rickey notched 27 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma Baptist, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

The Wonder Boys will face Southern Nazarene University for a 3 p.m. GAC game in Bethany, Okla., on Saturday, Jan. 6. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will provide live coverage.

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