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Back-to-Back: Golden Suns Win GSC Title

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Arkansas Tech is champion of the Gulf South Conference Women's Basketball Tournament for the second consecutive year and the fourth time since 1998.

The nationally second-ranked Golden Suns (27-2) defeated the nationally third-ranked Delta State Lady Statesmen 73-62 at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss., on Sunday afternoon to earn the automatic bid from the GSC in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

The win completed book end GSC Tournament championships for Arkansas Tech in women's basketball. The Golden Suns won the title in their first year of eligibility for the event (1998) and in this, their last year before moving forward to the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference.

Arkansas Tech's Jenny Vining (photographed) was named GSC Tournament most valuable player after scoring 19 points in the championship game. She was 10-of-10 from the free throw line on Sunday.

Laura Beth Anderson was also 10-of-10 at the charity stripe. She finished with 22 points, Natalia Santos notched 16 points and they both earned a spot on the All-GSC Tournament team.

Arkansas Tech took the lead for good with a 9-1 run midway through the second half. Santos started the spurt with a layup and Vining hit a 3-pointer with 9:54 left to give the Suns a 45-43 lead.

By the time the run was over, Arkansas Tech led 49-44 with 7:16 to go.

The Golden Suns delivered the knockout punch at the free throw line. Arkansas Tech made 16-of-16 at the charity stripe over the final 4:45 to seal its second consecutive GSC Tournament championship game win over Delta State.

The Suns made 32-of-36 (89 percent) at the free throw line for the game.

Arkansas Tech forced the Lady Statesmen into 25 turnovers and finished with a 31-13 edge in points off turnovers.

Veronica Walker had 17 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort for Delta State (26-3).

The Golden Suns will participate in the NCAA Division II Tournament beginning next weekend.

Click here to access information about pairings for the NCAA Tournament as they are announced at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night.

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