Wonder Boys Run Past Harding 86-72

A 13-2 run midway through the second half gave Arkansas Tech University the momentum for good in an 86-72 victory over Harding University in men’s basketball at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Thursday night.

The Wonder Boys (4-11 overall, 2-7 Great American Conference) led 45-38 at halftime. Harding scored eight of the first 10 points in the second half to pull within a single point of the lead, but Arkansas Tech never relinquished its advantage.

The decisive spurt began with a Mason Cline 3-pointer at the 14:15 mark of the second half. When R.J. Glasper closed the run on a trey of his own with 12:22 remaining, Arkansas Tech led 65-51. The Wonder Boys maintained at least a seven-point lead the rest of the way as they won for the second time in their last three games.

“You’ve got to get stops to be able to go on runs like that,” said Chad Kline, ATU head coach, when asked about the Wonder Boys’ 13-2 surge. “When we can get out and run like that, we’re fun to watch. This is a tough place to get a win. They had it rocking early.”

Arkansas Tech quieted the crowd of 1,922 by connecting on 15-of-32 attempts (47 percent) from 3-point range.

Five Wonder Boys reached double figures in scoring, led by Will Adler with 20 points. He was 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.

Cline finished with a season-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Glasper added 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Alex Brown and Ramses Sandifer notched 10 points apiece.

JV Long scored a game-high 23 points for the Bisons (5-10, 3-6), who suffered their sixth consecutive loss.

Next up for the Wonder Boys is a 3 p.m. GAC contest against Henderson State University at the Duke Wells Center in Arkadelphia on Saturday, Jan. 19.

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

Golden Suns Earn Overtime Win at HU

Arkansas Tech University ended its longest women’s basketball losing streak in five years in thrilling fashion on Thursday night.

Kiara Moses’ 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Golden Suns a 68-67 victory over Harding University at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy.

Arkansas Tech snapped the Lady Bisons’ 13-game home winning streak, a streak that dated back to the Golden Suns’ 77-64 win at Rhodes-Reaves Field House last season.

ATU had lost five consecutive games before Thursday night, its longest losing streak in women’s basketball since 2013-14.

“I’m really proud of the girls,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We did a good job executing offensively, and we were able to crowd their post players and force them to make some decisions. We’ve had some tough games and come up on the short end of some close ones. I maintained a good feeling about this team and its will to win.”

The Golden Suns (6-9 overall, 3-6 Great American Conference) trailed 61-55 with 4:03 left in regulation, but Arkansas Tech scored the final six points of the fourth quarter. Jayana Sanders connected on a 15-foot jumper with 54 seconds remaining that ultimately sent the game to overtime with the score tied 61-61.

Harding’s Kellie Lampo tied it at 65-65 with 28 seconds left in overtime. The Golden Suns ran the clock down on their final possession and Sanders passed to Moses, who drained the decisive trey from the left corner.

Arkansas Tech was called for a technical foul for leaving the bench in celebration with 0.2 seconds remaining. Carissa Caples made both free throws for Harding, but the Lady Bisons’ tip-in try at the buzzer was no good and their more than year-old home winning streak ended.

Hannah Villines finished with 21 points for the Golden Suns. Moses had a career-high 16 points and Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Lampo had 18 points and 19 rebounds for Harding (10-5, 5-4).

The Lady Bisons out-rebounded ATU 58-37, but Harding committed 30 turnovers and Tech finished with an 18-5 margin in points off turnovers.

The Golden Suns will face Henderson State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at the Duke Wells Center in Arkadelphia on Saturday, Jan. 19.

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

Long and Winding Road for ATU Basketball

Arkansas Tech University will begin a string of four consecutive Great American Conference basketball doubleheaders away from home when it visits Harding University on Thursday, Jan. 17.

The Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys will also travel to Henderson State University (1 and 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19), Southwestern Oklahoma State University (5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24) and Northwestern Oklahoma State University (1 and 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26) during the upcoming series of road contests.

Tech’s next games at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31, against East Central University. Seven of ATU’s final 10 GAC doubleheaders this season will be played at home.

ATU Golden Suns (5-9, 2-6 GAC) vs. HU Lady Bisons (10-4, 5-3 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Rhodes-Reaves Field House, Searcy
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/www.arkansastechsports.com
Series: ATU leads 48-13

About the Golden Suns: Arkansas Tech was 3-0 against Harding last season, including a 63-62 victory over the Lady Bisons in the 2018 GAC Tournament championship game. The Golden Suns will arrive in Searcy on a five-game losing streak, their longest since 2013-14. Junior Hannah Villines (12.2 points per game) and sophomore Jacie Higgins (11.9 points per game) are Tech’s leading scorers.

About the Lady Bisons: Harding earned double-digit wins over Oklahoma Baptist and Southern Nazarene last week to improve to 6-0 at home this season. The Lady Bisons have won 85 percent of their home games (137-25) since the beginning of the 2006-07 season. Seven of their home losses during that span have come against Arkansas Tech. Sophomore Kellie Lampo (17.4 points per game) is Harding’s leading scorer in 2018-19.

ATU Wonder Boys (3-11, 1-7 GAC) vs. HU Bisons (5-9, 3-5 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Rhodes-Reaves Field House, Searcy
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/www.arkansastechsports.com
Series: ATU leads 74-57

About the Wonder Boys: Arkansas Tech is averaging 12.4 made 3-pointers per game, second-most in NCAA Division II. Senior Will Adler (54-of-131, 41 percent) has been the Wonder Boys’ most prolific perimeter shooter this season, while senior Alex Brown (30-of-65, 46 percent) has been their most accurate. Sophomore R.J. Glasper scored 35 points at Harding last season to lead the Wonder Boys to a 98-94 victory. It was the first win at Rhodes-Reaves Field House for Tech’s men since 2014.

About the Bisons: Harding suffered a fifth consecutive defeat on Saturday when Southern Nazarene defeated the Bisons 85-60. All three of Harding’s GAC wins this season have come by two points or less. Senior JV Long, a transfer from Cameron University, leads the Bisons in scoring at 12.3 points per game. Harding ranks last in the GAC in 3-point field goal percentage (.312).

Bison Stampede Past Wonder Boys 99-63

Oklahoma Baptist University took control late in the first half and went on to defeat Arkansas Tech University 99-63 in men’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.

The Bison (8-6 overall, 7-1 Great American Conference) outscored Arkansas Tech 15-4 over the final 4:17 of the opening half. OBU made 9-of-16 attempts from 3-point range during the opening 20 minutes and held a 51-35 advantage at the intermission.

Oklahoma Baptist pulled away behind a 15-0 run over a span of three minutes early in the second half. The spurt gave the Bison a 66-37 margin with 16:42 left and they carried at least a 21-point lead the rest of the way.

With the win, Oklahoma Baptist maintained a share of first place in the GAC standings.

Brantley Thompson scored a game-high 19 points for the Bison. All five Oklahoma Baptist starters reached double figures in scoring.

R.J. Glasper had 16 points and five assists for the Wonder Boys, while Will Adler finished with 15 points and Alex Brown contributed 13 points.

“I thought we missed some shots early, and that led to poor transition defense,” said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. “When you aren’t making shots, you have to do something else to keep the game within reach. We couldn’t do that today. You’ll see a lot better effort from our team on Thursday in Searcy.”

The Wonder Boys (3-11, 1-7) will visit Harding University for a 7:30 p.m. GAC contest at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Thursday, Jan. 17. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.

Lady Bison Top Golden Suns 63-59

Charissa Price scored 18 points to lead Oklahoma Baptist University to a 63-59 victory over Arkansas Tech University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.

Victoria Blankenship added 13 points and Autumn Avina notched 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Lady Bison (7-7 overall, 3-5 Great American Conference), who earned their first women’s basketball road win over the Golden Suns since Nov. 24, 1984.

Oklahoma Baptist made its first five field goal attempts and jumped out to a 15-2 lead at the 5:55 mark of the opening quarter.

Eight straight Arkansas Tech points on a jumper by Ryann Goodsell and back-to-back 3-pointers from Jacie Higgins and Kiara Moses pulled the Golden Suns with 15-10 with 3:51 left in the opening period.

The Lady Bison maintained an advantage of between three and 12 points for the remainder of the half and went to the intermission leading 35-31.

Oklahoma Baptist used a 10-2 run late in the third period to claim a 55-42 lead going to the fourth quarter, but Arkansas Tech responded in kind. Ten consecutive Golden Suns’ points to begin the final period pulled Tech within 55-52, and the Suns tied the score 59-59 on Higgins’ 3-pointer with 2:49 left.

Those proved to be the final points of the day for Arkansas Tech, which missed its final six field goal attempts. Victoria Blankenship made a layup with 1:38 to go to put the Lady Bison in front for good at 61-59.

Mikayla Shulanberger had a key blocked shot for Oklahoma Baptist with 13.6 seconds remaining and Blankenship iced it by making 2-of-2 free throws with 8.4 seconds left.

“The shots just weren’t going in those final three minutes,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “I’m real proud of the way the team battled back. We got off to another terrible start, but we ran some good offense in the fourth quarter and got some good shots. I give our players a lot of credit today.”

Hannah Villines finished with 16 points for Arkansas Tech (5-9, 2-6), which suffered its fifth consecutive loss. Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse and Higgins added 10 points apiece.

The Golden Suns will visit Harding University for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest at Rhodes-Reaves Field House in Searcy on Thursday, Jan. 17. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.