Arkansas Tech leading scorer Brandon Friedel did not attempt a single field goal against Southern Arkansas in the first half on Saturday night. He more than made up for lost time in the second half.
Friedel (photographed) scored 18 of his game-high 20 points during a remarkable stretch of 8:10 to begin the second half and the nationally fifth-ranked Wonder Boys pulled away for a 79-52 victory over the Southern Arkansas Muleriders at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
Arkansas Tech (14-0 overall, 1-0 Gulf South Conference) led 34-26 at halftime, but the Wonder Boys were just getting started. Tech forced SAU into five turnovers and held the Muleriders without a made field goal over the first 5:36 of the second half.
Meanwhile, Friedel was connecting on three 3-pointers, three free throws, a pair of layups and a 17-foot jumper to lead a 23-5 Arkansas Tech run.
When Friedel hit the last of his 3-pointers with 11:50 to go, the Wonder Boys led 57-31 and the proverbial hay was well secured in the proverbial barn.
Laithe Massey added 11 points and six assists for Tech, while Irvin Humphrey notched nine points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Jeremy Dunbar had nine points and Renard Allen netted eight points.
Justin Stuart and Chase Spruiell paced Southern Arkansas (5-9, 0-1) with 11 points apiece.
The Wonder Boys will host Henderson State in GSC action at Tucker Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.