Ladd’s Big Day, Late Defense Lift Golden Suns

Kylie Ladd scored a career-high 18 points on Saturday afternoon to lead Arkansas Tech University to a 78-64 Great American Conference women’s basketball victory over Southeastern Oklahoma State University at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla.

Ladd helped the Golden Suns build a 40-28 halftime lead by scoring all 18 of her points in the opening two quarters. Tech trailed once at 11-10 with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Four straight Ladd free throws sparked an 8-0 spurt that put the Suns ahead to stay.

“(Ladd) is very capable of that,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “I’ve seen it in practice for two years. Our offense is very different this year, and it is a better fit for her.”

Arkansas Tech (3-0 overall, 2-0 GAC) missed 16 of its first 22 field goal attempts in the second half, allowing Southeastern Oklahoma State to pull within 58-53 at the end of three quarters.

The Golden Suns put it on ice with their defense, holding the Savage Storm without a made field goal for the first 6:21 of the fourth quarter to pull away for the 14-point victory.

“I think it was just a matter of fresh legs,” said Wilbers when asked about Tech’s fourth-quarter defense. “We were substituting a lot, and once we got some fresh players in there and started challenging some of their 3-point shots, they stopped going in.”

The Savage Storm was 4-of-16 from the field in the fourth quarter, including 0-for-7 from 3-point range.

Tech’s Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse notched 13 points, while Jayana Sanders added 12 points and Cheyenne North had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Katie Webb scored a game-high 21 points for Southeastern Oklahoma State (2-2, 1-1).

The Golden Suns will host Mississippi College for a 5:30 p.m. non-conference game at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.