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Quick Start Lifts Golden Suns to 92-63 Win

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Nationally 13th-ranked Arkansas Tech got off to a fast start and coasted to a 92-63 win over the Southern Arkansas Lady Muleriders in Great American Conference women's basketball at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Saturday night.

The Golden Suns (13-3 overall, 5-3 GAC) jumped out to an 18-point lead in the first seven minutes and never surrendered the lead as they defeated Southern Arkansas for the 12th consecutive time.

"I told the players before the game that I have a lot of respect for SAU," said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. "They may not have a great record right now, but they play hard and it showed here tonight. I told our team we had to match their intensity. We did a good job getting loose balls and going hard to the glass."

The Golden Suns shot 49 percent (33-of-68) from the field and finished with a 45-34 rebounding edge. Arkansas Tech forced SAU into 29 turnovers and held a 39-21 edge in points off turnovers.

Katie Horsman led Tech in scoring with 16 points. Lily Abreu and Rosie Silva had 14 points apiece. Silva also made nine assists.

Two Golden Suns had career-high nights. Samanta Ludwig nabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, nine of which were on the offensive glass. Ludwig also had 10 points as she led the Suns to a 52-34 advantage in points in the paint.

Tech's Sarah Martin established new career highs in scoring (10 points) and rebounds (6).

Kmaria Hobbs had 25 points and eight rebounds for Southern Arkansas (2-16, 2-6).

Arkansas Tech made seven of its first eight field goal tries and Abreu scored 10 points over the first 6:20 of the game as the Golden Suns built a big early lead.

Abreu's 3-point play at the 13:40 mark gave Tech a 24-6 edge.

"We've challenged Lily to play faster," said Wilbers. "She's done a good job of that the last couple of games, and it's paying off."

Southern Arkansas rallied with eight unanswered points. Hobbs had six of those, including a bucket with 10:27 left that cut the Golden Suns' lead to 24-14.

The Lady Muleriders eventually got within 26-17, but 10 straight points gave Arkansas Tech a comfortable lead for good. Horsman sparked the run with a 3-pointer. Silva followed with a 3-point play and back-to-back baskets from Shanae Govan made it 36-17 with 6:55 to go in the opening half.

The Golden Suns led 51-28 at halftime. Hobbs scored 11 points over the first 5:09 of the second half to pull SAU within 55-41, but Tech quickly restored order. Silva's basket with 14:09 to go and Lindsey Burgener's 3-point play at the 13:51 mark sparked an 18-5 Golden Suns' run.

Tech led 73-46 with 9:14 to go and the outcome was never in doubt from there.

The Golden Suns will open the second half of their GAC schedule by visiting Arkansas-Monticello for a 5:30 p.m. game at Steelman Field House in Monticello on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech women's basketball.