A fast start to the fourth quarter allowed Arkansas Tech University to run away from the University of Arkansas-Monticello 72-57 in Great American Conference women’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Suns (5-2 overall, 2-1 GAC) made 10 of their first 14 field goal attempts to begin the final period. That good shooting fueled a 20-5 ATU run that gave the Suns an insurmountable 72-51 lead with 2:24 remaining.
“Basketball is a game that takes a while to build chemistry,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “Sometimes it takes 11 or 12 games. I point back to the way we played against Lane College (on Nov. 27). We turned a corner that day and gained confidence that carried over to practice and this game today.”
Arkansas Tech never trailed on Saturday. The Golden Suns led 22-13 after one quarter, 38-26 at halftime and by as many as 16 points early in the third quarter.
A 14-3 run over a span of 4:55 helped UAM (7-1, 2-1) pull within 50-44 going to the fourth quarter, but Arkansas Tech’s hot shooting down the stretch allowed it to pull away for its 23rd win in the last 24 meetings between the two programs.
Brenda da Silva notched season highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Golden Suns.
Tech’s Jalei Oglesby had 18 points, while Jayana Sanders contributed 13 points and Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Berniezha Tidwell poured in a game-high 20 points for the Cotton Blossoms, who shot 32 percent (23-of-71) from the field against ATU’s 2-3 zone defense.
The Golden Suns will visit Southern Arkansas University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.