Lee Makes Game-Winning Shot in Debut

Arkansas Tech University’s Freddy Lee introduced himself to college basketball in a big way on Friday night.

A redshirt freshman from Clarksville, Lee made the game-winning basket with 2.3 seconds remaining and scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Wonder Boys to a season-opening 81-80 win over Northern State University (S.D.) at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Lee’s running, 6-foot leaner between and past two defenders capped a comeback that saw Arkansas Tech erase a 13-point deficit over the final eight-and-a-half minutes.

Northern State led 66-53 with 8:35 remaining. Eleven unanswered points — the final five of which were scored by Marquis Yates — pulled the Wonder Boys within two points of the lead at the 5:22 mark of the second half.

Arkansas Tech took its first lead of the second half with 4:06 left when Jerry Owens made a free throw to put the Wonder Boys in front 70-69. Two Skye Warwick 3-pointers helped the Wolves claim an 80-77 edge with 1:42 remaining, but Lee hit two free throws with 47.5 seconds left and then made the eventual game-winning shot.

Northern State’s D.J. Pollard had a look at a potential answer at the buzzer, but his 20-foot jumper came up short.

Thomas Alexander scored 14 points for the Wonder Boys, while Yates and Owens poured in 13 points apiece. Arkansas Tech finished with a 41-29 rebounding edge.

Warwick had a game-high 24 points for Northern State. He was 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Pollard scored 18 points for the Wolves.

The Tech-NSU match-up was between two teams that reached the NCAA Division II Tournament last season.

On Saturday, the Wonder Boys will face defending NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional champion Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Tip-off at Tucker Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have the live play-by-play description.