Preisner Free Throws Give ECU 61-59 Win

East Central University’s Lakin Preisner made 2-of-2 free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 61-59 Great American Conference victory over Arkansas Tech University in women’s basketball at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada, Okla., on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers (9-2 overall, 4-2 GAC) used a 9-1 run early in the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game at 48-44.

Arkansas Tech (5-7, 2-4) fought back, taking the lead at 50-48 on a Leighton Taylor 3-pointer with 5:16 to go and then tying the score at 59-59 on a 15-foot jumper by Jacie Higgins with 5.2 seconds remaining.

Preisner, ECU’s leading scorer this season, took the ensuing inbound pass, drove the right side of the lane and was fouled just before time expired. A 93 percent free throw shooter on the season, Preisner’s final two points of the day extended the Tigers’ winning streak to six games.

“I’m really proud of our team,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We battled and played good defense. We played with a lot of heart. When you are on the road like this, little errors add up.”

The Suns committed 21 turnovers, compared to nine for ECU.

Arkansas Tech led 18-14 after one quarter, 31-27 at halftime and 41-39 after three quarters.

East Central came back by connecting on 7-of-11 field goal attempts over the final 10 minutes.

Higgins and Hannah Villines scored 17 points apiece for the Golden Suns. Jayana Sanders added 12 points.

Maci Hanson scored a season-high 11 points for the Tigers. ECU’s Madison Rehl and Tia Williams both notched 10 points. Preisner finished with eight points and 15 rebounds.

The Golden Suns will host Southern Nazarene University for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 10. Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted at no charge.

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