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Late Weevil Surge Makes the Difference

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An 11-0 run over the final 2:19 gave the University of Arkansas-Monticello a 75-72 Great American Conference men's basketball victory over Arkansas Tech University at Steelman Fieldhouse in Monticello on Saturday.

The Wonder Boys (2-6 overall, 0-3 GAC) led 72-64 after Will Adler's 4-point play with 2:43 left.

Keelin Jackson sparked the Boll Weevils' comeback with a 3-pointer at the 2:19 mark. A tip-in by Darnell Wright, two free throws by Austin Hardy and a 3-point play by Wright put UAM (5-3, 2-1) in front 74-72 with 57.9 seconds remaining.

Arkansas Tech committed a turnover and missed a 3-pointer during its final two possessions. KJ Lesure's free throw with 30.4 seconds left set the final margin.

"We didn't communicate defensively," said Chad Kline, ATU head coach, when asked what made the difference down the stretch. "We had a real good stretch, got the lead and then there were two possessions where we let up defensively. We didn't talk on the switch, they made a couple of buckets and after that it was game on."

The lead changed hands six times during the first half. Alex Brown and Mason Cline made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 Arkansas Tech run that gave the Wonder Boys a 29-28 edge at the 2:53 mark of the opening period.

UAM responded with an 11-2 spurt of its own to reclaim the lead a 39-31. Tech's Will Adler made a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to trim the Weevils' advantage to 39-34 at the intermission.

The Arkansas-Monticello lead grew to 49-40 over the first four minutes of the second half, but the Wonder Boys scored nine straight points to even the score. Tech later used a 9-2 spurt to claim a 62-56 edge with 9:46 left and it maintained the lead until UAM's decisive 11-0 run at the end.

Hardy had 23 points for the Boll Weevils. Jordan Embry added a season-high 15 points.

Adler finished with 19 points for Tech. He was 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Brown contributed 18 points, R.J. Glasper scored 12 points and Ramses Sandifer notched his first double-double in an ATU uniform (16 points and 12 rebounds).

The Wonder Boys will host Southern Arkansas University for a 7:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Wednesday, Dec. 12. 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.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.