Golden Suns Blitz Southern Nazarene 79-49

A pair of first-half runs helped Arkansas Tech University breeze to a 79-49 Great American Conference women’s basketball victory over Southern Nazarene University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday night.

The Golden Suns (17-3 overall, 13-3 GAC) claimed a 25-12 lead by outscoring the Crimson Storm 14-0 over a span of 6:31 late in the first quarter and early in the second period.

Soon after, Tech scored 10 unanswered points to pull away for a 35-14 advantage at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter. The lead was 38-24 at halftime.

Points off turnovers was the key to the Suns’ first-half success. They held a 16-0 edge in that category at the intermission.

“We’ve been practicing hard, and we’ve been talking about the fact that we have to make something happen,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We did a good job in our press tonight, and we battled hard out there. I thought our bench played really well tonight. They gave us energy.”

Tech removed any remaining doubt by holding Southern Nazarene (7-13, 5-11) without a made field goal for more than four minutes late in the third quarter. The Suns scored 13 straight points during the Crimson Storm’s drought and opened a 61-30 edge with 1:31 left in the third period.

Kylie Ladd had 13 points and Lyrik Williams notched 10 points to pace Tech offensively. Cheyenne North had six points, a season-high 16 rebounds and six assists. ATU out-rebounded the Storm 56-37.

Abby Niehues scored a team-high 11 points and collected nine rebounds for SNU, which suffered a seventh consecutive loss.

The Golden Suns will entertain Oklahoma Baptist University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.