Wonder Boys Earn Third Consecutive Win

Arkansas Tech University is heading into the men’s basketball postseason on a roll.

The Wonder Boys extended their winning streak to three consecutive games with an 83-76 Great American Conference win over the University of Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday afternoon at Steelman Fieldhouse in Monticello.

With the win, Arkansas Tech (15-13 overall, 11-9 GAC) will be the No. 5 seed in the men’s bracket at the 2015 GAC Tournament in Bartlesville, Okla.

The Wonder Boys emerged from a back-and-forth affair to end their portion of the regular season on a winning note.

The game saw 10 lead changes and nine ties before Arkansas Tech went on a 21-8 run in the closing minutes to pull away.

Nick Wayman started the surge and gave the Wonder Boys the lead for good at 60-59 with a pair of free throws at the 9:37 mark of the second half.

Branden Williams and D.J. Jethroe scored six points apiece over the next five minutes for Arkansas Tech. Mike Balogun made a 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining to extend the Wonder Boys’ advantage into double figures, and when Jethroe capped the decisive run with a layup at the 3:15 mark, Tech led 79-67.

UA-Monticello pulled back within five points in the final minute, but a Jethroe slam dunk with 32.1 seconds left provided the Wonder Boys with what proved to be their final margin of victory.

Jethroe led five Arkansas Tech players in double figures in scoring with 18 points. He was 9-of-16 from the field.

Tyler Friedel, Balogun and Williams added 13 points apiece. Williams also had a team-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Wayman finished with eight points, while Clarence Willard had eight points, five rebounds and nine assists.

D’Audrio Patton notched 21 points and eight rebounds for the Boll Weevils (7-18, 3-17). The game marked the end of the season for UAM, which failed to qualify for the men’s portion of the GAC Tournament.

Arkansas Tech will face No. 4 seed Southeastern Oklahoma State University (15-13) in an opening-round game at the GAC Tournament on Friday, March 6. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

The Tech-SOSU game can be heard over KWKK 100.9 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.

View the complete 2015 GAC Tournament bracket.

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