Defense Carries Suns to Semifinal Win

Defense has put many Arkansas Tech women’s basketball banners in the rafters of Tucker Coliseum in Russellville. On Saturday, defense helped the Golden Suns take another step toward their third Gulf South Conference Tournament tiitle.

Nationally sixth-ranked Arkansas Tech (27-2) held Harding without a made field goal for nearly nine minutes in the second half as the Golden Suns rolled past the Lady Bisons 68-45 in the semifinal round of the 2010 GSC Tournament at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss.

Tech will face Delta State in the championship game at noon Sunday. The Lady Statesmen advanced with a 72-60 semifinal win over Valdosta State.

Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM and will have live coverage beginning with pre-game at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.

The Golden Suns led the Lady Bisons by as many as 13 points in the first half on Saturday. Harding cut Arkansas Tech’s lead to 43-36 on a Bailey St. Clair basket with 14:07 remaining in the second half, but that was the Lady Bisons’ final made field goal for a very long time.

Harding did not make a shot for the next 8:43, allowing the Suns to open up a 58-37 lead. By the time St. Clair ended the drought at the 5:24 mark, the game was already decided.

Jessica Weatherford (photographed) led Tech with 19 points. She also had seven rebounds and four steals.

Jenny Vining scored 18 points and made six steals for the Suns. Natalia Santos added 15 points and 12 rebounds. Laura Beth Anderson had nine points, four steals, three rebounds and three assists.

Tech forced the Lady Bisons into 30 turnovers and finished with a plus-seven turnover margin.

St. Clair led Harding (17-12) with 11 points.