Hot-Shooting Golden Suns Top SWOSU 101-90

Lycia Peevy

After 1,457 days, Arkansas Tech University’s women’s basketball home losing streak against Southwestern Oklahoma State University is over.

The Golden Suns took down the two-time defending Great American Conference champions 101-90 at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday night.

It was Arkansas Tech’s first win over the Lady Bulldogs since the 2017 GAC Tournament championship game and their first home victory against SWOSU since Jan. 28, 2016. The Lady Bulldogs had won three straight games at Tucker Coliseum.

“It was a shootout,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We told the players that a lot of different players would have to bring the ball up and face pressure because (SWOSU) traps all over the place, but we got good shots and did a good job staying in front of them defensively. We made them hit tough shots.”

There were eight ties and six lead changes in the first half. Neither side led by more than six points during the opening 20 minutes. The Golden Suns scored the final five points of the half to take a 48-44 advantage to the intermission.

Arkansas Tech (10-5 overall, 7-4 GAC) carried that momentum over to the third quarter. The Golden Suns, who committed 11 turnovers in the first half, gave the basketball away just once over the first eight minutes of the second half.

Meanwhile, Arkansas Tech was 12-of-17 (71 percent) from the field during the third quarter and forced the Lady Bulldogs to miss 11 of their first 12 field goal attempts to begin the period.

As result, the Golden Suns built a 17-point lead during the third quarter, led 76-66 going to the fourth quarter and held off SWOSU by forcing it to miss nine of its final 10 field goal attempts.

Kaley Shipman had 24 points for Arkansas Tech. She was 5-of-5 from beyond the arc as part of a 9-of-13 (69 percent) 3-point shooting performance by the Golden Suns. ATU was 34-of-56 (61 percent) from the field overall.

Tech’s Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse had 22 points and seven assists. Ryann Goodsell notched a career-high 18 points for the Suns, while Sarah Heard came off the bench with 14 points and Jayana Sanders poured in 12 points.

Bethany Franks paced the Lady Bulldogs (12-5, 7-4) with 18 points.

The Golden Suns will conclude a four-game homestand by hosting Northwestern Oklahoma State University in GAC action on Saturday, Jan. 25. Tip-off is planned for 1 p.m.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 senior citizens and students) will be available at the door. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will provide live coverage.