First-Place Tech Teams Head to Ada

Arkansas Tech University’s Great American Conference-leading basketball teams will visit East Central University for a league doubleheader in Ada, Okla., on Saturday, Jan. 9.

The Golden Suns assumed sole possession of first place in the GAC women’s basketball standings following their 70-65 win at Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Thursday night. The Wonder Boys earned a share of the GAC men’s basketball lead later that evening by dominating SOSU 91-64.

Arkansas Tech will play a third consecutive road GAC doubleheader on Thursday, Jan. 14, when it tangles with Ouachita Baptist University at Vining Arena in Arkadelphia. Game times for that twin bill are set for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The next home games for the Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16, when they will host Southern Arkansas University for 1 and 3 p.m. GAC contests at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

#23 Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (7-2, 5-0 GAC) vs. ECU Tigers (2-7, 2-3 GAC)
When: Saturday, Jan. 9, 1 p.m.

Where: Kerr Activities Center, Ada, Okla.
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/
Series: Tech leads 10-7

About the Golden Suns: Arkansas Tech is 0-4 in women’s basketball games at the Kerr Activities Center since the GAC began competition in 2011. East Central defeated the Golden Suns 74-65 on Jan. 14, 2012, 67-62 on Dec. 8, 2012, 70-42 on March 1, 2014, and 66-56 on Feb. 19, 2015, in their four meetings in Ada as conference foes. Tech is 5-0 against ECU in games played anywhere other than Ada during the GAC era. All-time, Tech is 2-5 against the Tigers at the Kerr Activities Center. The only Golden Suns teams to leave Ada with a win were the 1993-94 squad — when Tech was two-time defending NAIA national champion — and the 1999-2000 team — when the Suns were defending NCAA Division II national runners-up.

About the Tigers: East Central stunned Harding University 61-50 at the Kerr Activities Center on Thursday night. It was the Lady Bisons’ first GAC loss of the season. The Tigers stopped a five-game losing streak. Sophomore guard Alexa Adair scored 15 points and sophomore forward Aalyiah Blakely netted 14 points for ECU. The Lady Tigers rank 11th in the GAC in scoring offense (56.1 points per game) and second in the league in scoring defense (63.3 points allowed per game).

Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (9-2, 4-1 GAC) vs. ECU Tigers (7-4, 3-2 GAC)
When: Saturday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.
Where: Kerr Activities Center, Ada, Okla. 
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/
Series: Tech leads 14-10

About the Wonder Boys: Arkansas Tech has fond memories of its most recent meeting with East Central. The Wonder Boys defeated the Tigers 80-77 in the 2015 GAC Tournament championship game to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Tech will arrive in Ada on an eight-game winning streak. The Wonder Boys rank fourth in NCAA Division II in field goal percentage defense (.371) and ninth in the nation in rebound margin (+9.9 per game).

About the Tigers: East Central dropped a 96-93 overtime decision to Harding University on Thursday night. It marked the third consecutive game in which the Tigers scored more than 90 points. Senior guard Stirling Thomas leads the GAC and ranks eighth nationally in scoring (23.3 points per game). He scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in ECU’s loss to Arkansas Tech in the 2015 GAC Tournament championship game.