Big Third Quarter Propels Suns to Victory

Arkansas Tech University turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter on Thursday night and earned another valuable women’s basketball win on the road to the postseason.

The Golden Suns closed the third period on a 17-1 run and went on to an 88-64 Great American Conference victory over Ouachita Baptist University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Arkansas Tech (9-12 overall, 6-9 GAC) held the Lady Tigers to 1-of-14 shooting from the field and forced them into seven turnovers during the third quarter.

As a result, the Golden Suns turned a 42-42 halftime tie into a 66-47 ATU lead going to the fourth quarter. The Suns maintained at least a 14-point spread the rest of the way as they earned their 12th consecutive win over Ouachita Baptist (6-15, 4-11).

It was the third win in the last four games for ATU’s women, who remained inside the cut line to make the GAC Tournament with seven regular season games to play.

“We talked at halftime about our need to play with more energy,” said Dave Wilbers, Tech head coach. “We were in good position, but we were standing around too much. I thought both teams were struggling early to get in the flow of the game. Our defense was really good in that third quarter and we played with a lot of energy.”

Hannah Villines scored 11 points for the Golden Suns during that decisive 17-1 run and finished with a game-high 24 points. She was 6-of-7 from 3-point range and ATU was 13-of-24 (54 percent) from beyond the arc as a team.

Jacie Higgins had 14 points and six rebounds for the Suns. Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse notched 13 points and seven rebounds, while Jayana Sanders contributed 12 points and seven assists.

Alivia Huell scored 19 points and made five steals for Ouachita.

The Golden Suns will visit Southern Arkansas University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Follow live coverage on radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

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