Golden Suns Top Cotton Blossoms 82-59

Arkansas Tech University found its shooting touch in the fourth quarter and pulled away to defeat the University of Arkansas-Monticello 82-59 in women’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.

The Golden Suns made 10 of their final 12 field goal attempts to stretch an eight-point lead at the end of three quarters into a comfortable 23-point victory.

“I believe we are a really good shooting basketball team,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “I credit our players. We didn’t talk about Thursday’s game (a 72-48 loss to Harding University) on Friday. We just got back in the gym and the girls put in a lot of time shooting the basketball. It paid off today. We are at a point in the season where we’ve got to win games. I like the way we played today, and I think it will carry over.”

Jacie Higgins paced the Golden Suns with 19 points, 15 of which came in the first half. Hannah Villines finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while Jayana Sanders notched 13 points and seven assists.

Tech’s Kiara Moses came off the bench to score 11 points.

Mackenzie Johnson scored a game-high 21 points for the Cotton Blossoms (6-17, 5-13).

With the win, the Golden Suns (11-13 overall, 8-10 Great American Conference) maintained sole possession of seventh place in the GAC standings and moved within one game of sixth-place Southeastern Oklahoma State University (11-11, 9-9).

There are four games remaining in the regular season. The top eight teams in the final GAC women’s basketball standings will advance to the GAC Tournament March 7-10 in Bartlesville, Okla. Tech’s women are seeking their 13th consecutive postseason berth.

The Golden Suns will visit Oklahoma Baptist University for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest in Shawnee, Okla., on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Live coverage will be provided by radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and