Once Arkansas Tech University's R.J. Glasper took over on Thursday night at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center in Weatherford, Okla., it was all Wonder Boys.
The sophomore from Forrest City scored 26 of his 37 points over the final 13-plus minutes to lift ATU to a 103-92 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
"That's what he's going to school for free for, right?" joked Chad Kline, ATU head coach, when asked about his All-GAC first team guard. "It was a heck of a team win. We knew this was going to be tough tonight. It was Southwestern's first home game in two weeks, and their first home game with the students back. When they jumped on us early and we were down 15, I told the guys in the huddle we were about to find out what we are about."
The Bulldogs (3-14 overall, 0-11 Great American Conference) made 14 of their first 21 field goal attempts to grab a 34-19 edge at the 7:46 mark of the first half.
The Wonder Boys (5-12, 3-8) shot their way back into the game, connecting on 12 first-half 3-pointers to draw even 45-45 at the intermission.
SWOSU regained the lead early in the second half by making five of its first six field goal tries after halftime. The R.J. Glasper show began shortly thereafter.
He scored seven straight points to give the Wonder Boys a 69-64 edge with 12:21 left. The Bulldogs never regained the lead.
SWOSU pulled within 95-90 with 1:27 to go, but an Alex Brown layup with 58.4 seconds remaining followed by a Will Adler steal gave Tech some separation. Glasper matched his career high in scoring and put it away by making 6-of-6 free throw attempts over the final 39.8 seconds.
Brown finished with 16 points, giving him 1,004 for his career. He became the 32nd Arkansas Tech men's basketball player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Mason Cline added 15 points and Ramses Sandifer had 10 points and eight rebounds for ATU, while Freddy Lee dished out 12 assists.
Arkansas Tech made 20 3-pointers, tying the single-game school record that it established on Feb. 10, 2018, against Oklahoma Baptist University.
The Wonder Boys will visit Northwestern Oklahoma State University for a 3 p.m. GAC game in Alva on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.