Arkansas Tech will face the task of defending one of the top scorers in all of college basketball when the Wonder Boys host the MidAmerica Nazarene University Pioneers at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday night.
The Wonder Boys (7-3) and the Pioneers (6-7) will jump center at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets will be available at the gate. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free.
MidAmerica Nazarene’s Rustin Dowd, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard, has been next to unstoppable through his first 10 games of the season.
Dowd is averaging 25.1 points per game, which leads the country at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level.
He shoots 45 percent (29-of-64) from 3-point range, but Dowd’s game is not limited to the perimeter shot. His aptitude for making plays off the dribble is indicated by his ability to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. Dowd averages 7.9 free throw attempts per game, and he makes 73 percent of those tries.
Dowd also leads the Pioneers in assists (3.9 per game) and steals (1.9 per game).
“(Dowd) is their point guard, but he has the scoring mentality of an off guard,” said Tech head coach Doug Karleskint. “He puts himself in good scoring positions, whether be it off the bounce, moving without the ball or coming off screens. He’s a smart basketball player that just gets a lot done. Those 25 points per game are legit.”
Arkansas Tech will be playing its first game in 13 days. The Wonder Boys defeated North Alabama 75-57 on Dec. 17 behind 22 points from senior forward Jeremy Dunbar and a 33-20 advantage in points off turnovers.
Junior guard Johnie Davis (13.3 points per game), senior forward James Causey (12.1 points per game), Dunbar (11.3 points per game) and senior guard Willie Sanders (10.9 points per game) are Arkansas Tech’s leading scorers through its first 10 games of the season.
Senior point guard Laithe Massey adds 8.0 points per contest for the Wonder Boys, and he leads the Gulf South Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.75-to-1).
“I think that our focus and our energy level have been pretty good in practice,” said Karleskint of his team’s post-holiday preparation. “We had a couple of days that we got two practices in, so the guys were a little sore and achy after that first day. Overall we’ve had some good practices.”
Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will broadcast Thursday’s contest. There will be live video and audio streams from the game at www.athletics.atu.edu.]]>