No. 4 DSU Tops No. 2 Suns 68-58

Delta State broke its school record for consecutive women’s basketball home victories on Saturday, and safe to say there’s no one the Lady Statesmen would have rather done it against.

Nationally fourth-ranked Delta State defeated the nationally second-ranked Arkansas Tech Golden Suns 68-58 for their 59th straight victory at Walter Sillers Coliseum in Cleveland, Miss.

The streak breaks the previous DSU record of 58 straight home wins from 1974-76.

Bug Cooper scored 14 first-half points to stake Delta State to a 36-31 halftime lead.

The Lady Statesmen (16-1 overall, 4-1 Gulf South Conference) outscored the Golden Suns 11-2 over the first 4:36 of the second half to open a 47-33 lead.

Arkansas Tech (14-2, 3-1) got back to within 49-39 with 12:02 left, but then the Lady Statesmen held the Suns scoreless for the next 6:33. Delta State held a 56-39 edge with 5:54 to go.

The Golden Suns used a 12-3 spurt — capped by a Laura Beth Anderson 3-pointer at the 1:48 mark — to cut the Lady Statesmen’s lead to 62-56 with 1:48 left.

Tech forced Delta State to miss a field goal try with 1:12 left, but Sheena Johnson got the offensive rebound and a back-breaking putback basket to make it 64-56.

The Lady Statesmen made 4-of-4 at the free throw line over the final 57.7 seconds to put it away.

Cooper finished with 16 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for Delta State. Veronica Walker added 13 points and 17 rebounds. Moe Bell, who grabbed a critical defensive rebound with 57.7 seconds remaining, also had 13 points for the Lady Statesmen.

Natalia Santos led Tech with 15 points and nine rebounds. Anderson had 12 points. Jenny Vining and Jessica Weatherford notched 10 points apiece for the Golden Suns, who saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end.

The Suns will host Harding University in GSC action at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free.