Golden Suns Fall in Regular Season Finale

Southeastern Oklahoma State University ended a four-game losing streak against Arkansas Tech University in women’s basketball by defeating the nationally 22nd-ranked Golden Suns 71-63 at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla., on Saturday afternoon.

The Savage Storm (17-9 overall, 15-7 Great American Conference) held Arkansas Tech without a point over a span of four minutes and 37 seconds midway through the fourth quarter.

That Golden Suns’ drought allowed Southeastern to open a 61-50 lead with 4:04 left, and the Savage Storm made 10-of-14 free throws over the final 1:46 to seal their first victory over the Suns since Feb. 21, 2015.

Arkansas Tech was 25-of-72 (34.7 percent) from the field on Saturday, its second-worst shooting day of the season and its lowest field goal percentage since Nov. 17.

“It was pretty simple,” said Golden Suns head coach Dave Wilbers. “We got a lot of open shots, and we couldn’t hit them. I can’t complain about the shot selection. We were open all day and we just did not shoot a good percentage.”

Southeastern Oklahoma State used a 16-2 run over a span of 4:21 late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter to claim a 20-12 lead.

Arkansas Tech (20-6, 16-6) pulled within 25-24 on a D’Rae Tullock 3-pointer at the 3:54 mark of the second quarter, but Southeastern Oklahoma State closed the half on a 9-0 run and went to the intermission with a 34-24 advantage.

The Golden Suns went on a 14-0 run in the third quarter and took a 43-38 lead on Taylor Ely’s 3-pointer with 3:11 to go in the period.

The Savage Storm once again responded, outscoring Tech 9-2 over the final 2:31 of the third quarter to take the lead for good at 47-45.

Anissa Pounds had 22 points for the Golden Suns, while Kelsey McClure contributed 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

Katie Webb paced Southeastern with 19 points. The Savage Storm was 28-of-37 at the free throw line, compared to 3-of-6 for Arkansas Tech.

The Golden Suns will open postseason play at noon on Thursday, March 2, with a first-round game in the GAC Tournament at Bruin Fieldhouse in Bartlesville, Okla. Tech, the No. 2 seed in the women’s bracket, will face No. 7 seed Ouachita Baptist University (12-16) in the opening round.

“We have a lot of experience,” said Wilbers. “No one has won the title or been to the finals at the conference tournament more than us, and we have a lot of players who know how to play in Bartlesville. We’ll regroup.”

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live coverage.