Ouachita Baptist University's backcourt duo of Mahlon Martin and Trey Harris lifted the Tigers to an 86-81 Great American Conference men's basketball victory over Arkansas Tech University at Vining Arena in Arkadelphia on Thursday night.
Martin scored a career-high 29 points and Harris notched 18 points for Ouachita (4-1 overall, 1-0 GAC), which earned its third consecutive win.
The opening 10 minutes of the game could not have gone much better for OBU. The Tigers made seven of their first nine attempts from 3-point range and collected 14 of the game's first 17 rebounds. Meanwhile, Arkansas Tech was missing its first eight tries from beyond the arc.
The result was a 30-12 lead for the Tigers at the 9:33 mark of the first half.
"Key No. 1 that we put on the board was rebounding," said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. "Ouachita is a good rebounding team. We've been good through the first four games, but you can't give a team two or three shots every time down the floor. We fought our tails off to get back in it."
The Wonder Boys (2-3, 0-1) battled back behind the perimeter shooting of Alex Brown.
The senior guard from Vernon, Fla., made three consecutive 3-pointers over a span of 75 seconds to cut Ouachita's advantage to 35-27 with 5:19 left in the opening half. Arkansas Tech maintained that momentum for the remainder of the period and pulled within 37-33 at halftime.
The Wonder Boys briefly took the lead on three occasions in the second half, but a 7-0 Tigers' spurt put them ahead for good at 56-53 with 11:19 to go.
Ouachita opened a 76-66 edge at the 1:48 mark. Five Tech 3-pointers down the stretch --- four of which were made by R.J. Glasper --- kept the Wonder Boys' hopes alive.
It wasn't until Martin nailed a 3-pointer with 17.2 seconds left and added two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining that the Tigers finally put it away.
Glasper finished with 25 points and 10 assists. Will Adler added 21 points for Tech, while Brown finished with 14 points.
The Wonder Boys will host Henderson State University for their GAC home opener on Saturday, Dec. 1. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.