Golden Suns Come Back From 15 Down, Win

Arkansas Tech University rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit on Thursday night to defeat East Central University 84-74 in overtime at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada, Okla., in the Great American Conference women’s basketball opener for both teams.

East Central (0-1 overall, 0-1 GAC) led 46-31 with 5:42 left in the third quarter. By the end of that period, Arkansas Tech (2-0, 1-0) had drawn within 51-45.

The Golden Suns took their first lead since the opening quarter at 54-53 on a pair of Ryann Goodsell free throws at the 6:43 mark of the fourth quarter. The lead went back and forth between the two teams until a 3-point play by Tech’s Lyrik Williams with 25.1 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 70-70 and ultimately forced overtime.

Those three points were the beginning of a 13-0 Golden Suns’ run that gave them an 80-70 edge with 1:32 remaining in overtime. Tech sealed the victory by making 4-of-4 free throws over the final 44.9 seconds.

The Golden Suns out-rebounded ECU 62-38. Tech grabbed 24 offensive rebounds. ATU was 31-of-41 at the free throw line, compared to 19-of-21 for the Tigers.

“We showed a bunch of guts tonight,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We never quit. Our press was really good. We got some turnovers and were able to take them out of their game at times. The rebounding was all about effort, which is something we’ve been working on and stressing.”

Cheyenne North (17 points and 15 rebounds) and Lyrik Williams (12 points and 11 rebounds) both had double-doubles for the Golden Suns. Jayana Sanders finished with 13 points for Tech, while Jacie Higgins (12 points), Kylie Ladd (12 points) and Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse (11 points) completed a group of six ATU players in double figures in scoring.

Alexa Adair and Devon Branch scored 21 points apiece for the Tigers.

The Golden Suns will face Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla., on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live coverage.