It took two-and-a-half quarters, but when Arkansas Tech University found its 3-point shooting on Thursday night it paved the way to victory.
The nationally 14th-ranked Golden Suns claimed sole possession of second place in the Great American Conference women’s basketball standings with a 68-62 win over Henderson State University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
Arkansas Tech (12-2 overall, 8-2 GAC) missed nine of its first 10 tries from 3-point range, but a string of three consecutive makes from beyond the arc late in the third quarter — one each by Anissa Pounds, Kylie Ladd and Calli White — allowed the Suns to earn a 55-47 lead going to the fourth quarter.
The Reddies (7-9, 7-3) battled back to tie the score 59-59 with under four minutes to go.
White stepped forward again for Tech at the 2:43 mark, draining a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Golden Suns the lead for good at 62-59.
“That was a big shot,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “That’s what you expect from your seniors. (White) never flinched. This was a good conference battle tonight.”
Back-to-back layups by Pounds and Danielle Frachiseur extended Tech’s advantage to 66-59, and Pounds made 2-of-2 free throws with 26.3 seconds left to help put it away.
Cheyenne North led the Suns with 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for her third double-double of 2016-17.
Pounds, Frachiseur and Kelsey McClure finished with 14 points apiece for Tech, which defeated Henderson State for a seventh consecutive time.
Hailey Estes, Haleigh Henson and Torrie Thompson netted 13 points apiece for the Reddies.
The Golden Suns will visit the University of Arkansas-Monticello for a 2 p.m. GAC contest against the Cotton Blossoms on Saturday, Jan. 21. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have play-by-play coverage.