Another OT Win, Another Title Game for ATU

Arkansas Tech University will play in the Great American Conference Tournament championship game in women’s basketball for a fifth consecutive year.

The seventh-seeded Golden Suns (15-15) defeated Southern Nazarene University 87-84 in overtime at Bruin Fieldhouse in Bartlesville, Okla., on Saturday afternoon.

As a result of its semifinal win, Arkansas Tech will face nationally eighth-ranked Southwestern Oklahoma State University (29-1) in the championship game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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

“This was a heck of a college game,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “I’m real proud of our team. Jayana (Sanders) really came through big time when we really needed it.”

Southern Nazarene (17-13) scored the first seven points of the game and never relinquished the lead until Sanders made a 26-foot 3-pointer from the right wing with 5.4 seconds left in regulation. The game went to overtime with the score tied 77-77.

Sanders scored eight of the Golden Suns’ 10 points in the overtime and made a steal with 12 seconds remaining to help seal the win.

Tech’s Leighton Taylor made 1-of-2 free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining to give the Suns an 87-84 advantage and Southern Nazarene’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.

There have been four overtime games in GAC Tournament women’s basketball history. All four have been won by the Golden Suns, including two this week. Tech defeated East Central University 76-74 in double overtime during the opening round on Thursday.

Sanders finished with 21 points. Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse scored all 18 of her points for the Golden Suns in the second half. Lyrik Williams, Tech’s lone senior, added 16 points and 11 rebounds for her 11th career double-double.

Five ATU players fouled out of the game.

Adrienne Berry scored a team-high 19 points for the Crimson Storm.

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