Suns Clinch Share of GAC Championship

Arkansas Tech University is a conference champion for the 23rd time in the 36-year history of its intercollegiate women’s basketball program.

The Golden Suns rallied from an 11-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Harding Lady Bisons 69-67 at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday night.

With the win, Arkansas Tech clinches a share of the 2012-13 Great American Conference women’s basketball championship.

The Golden Suns (19-6 overall, 16-3 GAC) can win the league title outright if they defeat East Central University at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday.

Harding led 44-33 with 18:12 to go. The Lady Bisons’ lead was still in double figures with 17 minutes left, but a 17-7 Tech run over a span of 8:02 allowed the Golden Suns to tie the score at 55-55 with 8:45 to go.

Westin Taylor sparked a 9-0 Tech run and tied the score at 60-60 with a 3-pointer at the 5:09 mark. Jessica Weatherford followed with two free throws and a put-back basket to put the Suns in front for good.

Harding had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Shana Holmes’ 3-point try from the right wing was blocked by Caitlyn Spurgeon to preserve the Arkansas Tech victory.

The Golden Suns have won 18 consecutive games at home and 60 of their last 61 games at Tucker Coliseum.

Rosie Silva had 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals for Tech on Thursday night. Weatherford finished with 13 points. Caroline Eubanks added nine points and seven rebounds. Tikeyiah Johnson notched eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers during the Golden Suns’ 17-7 second-half run.

Montana Lewis paced Harding (17-8, 13-6) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Arkansas Tech’s game against East Central on Saturday is set for a 2 p.m. start.

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