Muleriders Hang On, Top Wonder Boys 78-75

Southern Arkansas University collected 46 rebounds against Arkansas Tech University at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon, and it wasn’t difficult to identify the most important one.

DeVante Brooks’ offensive rebound with 51 seconds remaining led to a key basket in the Muleriders’ 78-75 victory over the Wonder Boys in Great American Conference action.

Brooks’ rebound led to a reverse layup by Frank Royles that gave SAU (17-5 overall, 12-4 GAC) a 76-73 advantage with 26 seconds to go.

Freddy Lee made two free throws for ATU (8-14, 6-10) and CJ Elkins did the same for the Muleriders, leaving the Wonder Boys down by three points and facing the final possession of the game.

Arkansas Tech missed a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left, but the rebound went out of bounds off SAU. The ensuing inbound pass was stolen by the Muleriders’ Jalen Brooks, sealing a victory that pushed SAU’s home record this season to 11-0.

Jalen Brooks matched his season high with 18 points. Elkins also had 18 points for the Muleriders, while DeVante Brooks notched 16 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of 2018-19. Gabe Gilliam pitched in 14 points for SAU.

Lee had 23 points and seven assists for the Wonder Boys. Ramses Sandifer netted 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Will Adler (12 points) and Alex Brown (10 points) rounded out a quartet of ATU players in double figures in scoring.

Southern Arkansas’ bench outscored Arkansas Tech’s bench 39-8 and the Muleriders finished with a plus-18 rebound margin.

The Wonder Boys will host Harding University for a 7:30 p.m. GAC game on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid ATU identification card.

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

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