Golden Suns Move Closer to Postseason Berth

A 13th consecutive postseason appearance in women’s basketball is within reach for Arkansas Tech University.

The Golden Suns blitzed Oklahoma Baptist University 91-65 at the Noble Complex in Shawnee, Okla., on Thursday night.

With the win, Arkansas Tech’s women (12-13 overall, 9-10 Great American Conference) pulled within one victory of clinching a berth in the GAC Tournament.

“We talked about how (Oklahoma Baptist) got off to a good start against us the last time we played, and how we needed to do that tonight,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We made the extra pass and took really good shots tonight. We’ve been practicing hard and running a lot during the week, and it’s paying off.”

The Golden Suns made 15 of their first 21 field goal attempts. As a result, they led 21-12 at the end of one quarter and 51-26 at halftime. A 16-2 run over a span of 3:18 during the second quarter helped Tech build its 25-point halftime margin.

Oklahoma Baptist (10-15, 6-13) got as close as 17 points early in the fourth quarter, but another hot streak from the field allowed Arkansas Tech to pull away.

The Golden Suns made their first 11 field goal attempts during the final period as they avenged a 63-59 home loss to Oklahoma Baptist on Jan. 12.

Thursday night’s win was the sixth victory in the last eight games for Arkansas Tech.

Jayana Sanders paced the Golden Suns with season highs of 22 points and 10 assists. She was 6-of-8 from 3-point range.

Jacie Higgins added 19 points and five assists for ATU, while Hannah Villines (15 points), Ryann Goodsell (12 points) and Lyrik Williams (11 points) rounded out a quintet of Golden Suns in double figures in scoring.

Arkansas Tech finished with an 18-8 edge in points off turnovers and shot 60 percent (36-of-60) from the field.

Victoria Blankenship had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Bison.

The Golden Suns will play their final road game of the 2018-19 regular season when they visit Southern Nazarene University on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Tip-off at the Sawyer Center in Bethany, Okla., is set for 1 p.m. Live coverage will be available from radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and