With her teammates in foul trouble and Oklahoma Baptist University trying to rally, Anna Lea Little came through for nationally 16th-ranked Arkansas Tech University on Thursday night.
Little scored 13 of her season-high 15 points in the final 4:27 of the third quarter to allow the Golden Suns (16-2 overall, 14-0 GAC) to pull away for a 106-76 Great American Conference win over the Lady Bison at Mabee Arena in Shawnee, Okla.
“Credit Anna Lea,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “She comes in at 6 a.m. almost every day to work on her game and get in extra shots, and it paid off. I am so proud of her and happy for her. Anna Lea is always ready.”
The junior guard from Starkville, Miss., was one of three Golden Suns to establish a new season high in scoring on Thursday night. Kelsey McClure made 6-of-8 field goal attempts on her way to a 16-point night, while Tierani Richardson connected on 5-of-6 3-point tries and finished with 15 points.
Anissa Pounds led Tech in scoring with 17 points. She was 5-of-9 from 3-point range. As a team, the Suns were 15-of-23 (65 percent) from beyond the arc.
Tech’s Fatima Adams notched 14 points, putting her at 998 career points. She needs two points to become the 27th Golden Sun to reach 1,000 career points.
A 10-0 run midway through the first quarter gave Arkansas Tech a 25-8 lead. The Golden Suns led 31-15 at the end of the opening period and by as many as 20 points early in the second quarter before the Lady Bison responded.
Oklahoma Baptist (9-11, 7-7) outscored Tech 9-3 over the final 4:27 of the first half to cut the Suns’ lead to 46-32 at the intermission.
The lead was still 14 points when Little took over midway through the third period. She scored eight straight points to give Tech a 62-40 edge, and when she made a 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer the Suns went to the fourth period with a 75-47 advantage.
Tech maintained at least a 23-point lead the rest of the way as it cruised to a 10th consecutive victory.
The Golden Suns will complete their final 2015-16 regular season road trip to Oklahoma by visiting Southern Nazarene University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest in Bethany on Saturday, Feb. 6.
Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.