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Dome Sweet Dome: Wonder Boys to Host SCU

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Tucker Coliseum will be a welcome sight to the nationally 21st-ranked Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys when they host the Southwestern Christian University Eagles on Friday, Dec. 3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Fans can gain admission for $1 by donating a new and unwrapped toy to the Arkansas Tech Department of Public Safety Toys for Tots drive at the door. Admission will be free with a valid Tech identification card. The Wonder Boys (4-2) are back from an exhausting 1,216-mile trip to face West Alabama and West Georgia. There was certainly plenty of excitement along the way to keep them awake.

First came the thrill of a come-from-behind 61-58 win at West Alabama on Saturday. The Wonder Boys overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half to pick up their first road victory of the season.

It marked the largest deficit that Tech’s men had overcome to win a game since coming back from 16 points down to defeat Arkansas-Monticello 96-91 on Jan. 6, 2003.

Then came the agony of a 66-65 loss at West Georgia on Monday. The Wonder Boys gave up a tip-in by Da’Ron Sims with 9.9 seconds left and then missed two potentially game-winning shots during the final possession of the contest.

“We need some leadership, especially from our returners,” said Tech head men’s basketball coach Doug Karleskint after the loss at West Georgia. “I thought some of our guys were soft in the second half. They didn’t grind it out defensively, and that’s why some of them didn’t play a lot of minutes in the second half. I don’t care who is in as long as you are going hard and making plays. We’ve just got to get better and iron some things out.”

Arkansas Tech is led in scoring by junior guard Johnie Davis (13.0 points per game), sophomore guard Jared Williamson (12.8 points per game) and senior forward James Causey (10.8 points per game).

Southwestern Christian (2-4) stopped a three-game losing streak by defeating Arlington Baptist College 91-67 on Thursday night.

The Eagles pushed NCAA Division II member and future Great American Conference member East Central University (Okla.) to overtime before suffering a 57-54 loss on Tuesday.

Winner of eight national championships at the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA) and National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) levels, Southwestern Christian is in its first year of membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Eagles are coached by Mark Arthur, who has collected 386 wins in 20 seasons on the Southwestern Christian bench.

Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast of Friday night’s game. Live video and audio will be available at www.athletics.atu.edu.

After Friday’s contest, the Wonder Boys will be idle until a game at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., on Saturday, Dec. 11.

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