Expect a faster tempo and more transition offense from the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns when they open their 2011-12 women’s basketball season by hosting Central Baptist College on Thursday, Nov. 10. Tip-off between nationally fourth-ranked Arkansas Tech (0-0) and the Central Baptist Lady Mustangs (2-0) is set for 6:30 p.m. at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville. Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Arkansas Tech identification card will be admitted free.
It’s not that the Golden Suns played at a slow pace last year. They averaged 83.8 points per game --- fourth-most in NCAA Division II --- on their way to a 30-3 season, a Gulf South Conference West Division championship, the GSC Tournament title and the NCAA Division II South Region crown. But with newcomers at guard --- including junior college transfers Lily Abreu and Roselis Silva --- head coach Dave Wilbers wants Arkansas Tech to play even faster in 2011-12. “We run a structured fast break, but we’ll probably be a little more open this year just because of our personnel,” said Wilbers, who owns a career record of 106-21 as he begins his fifth season as Golden Suns head coach. “They will have a little more freedom in our transition. We are looking for our point guard to push the basketball, our posts to run the floor and our off guards running their lanes 100 percent. We’ve been drilling those ideas on a daily basis since the beginning of preseason. We probably haven’t grasped it quite yet, but that’s what games are for --- to learn and improve in those areas.” Central Baptist, which competes at the NAIA level, has opened its season with consecutive wins over Ecclesia College (89-75) and Crowley’s Ridge College (91-41). The Lady Mustangs’ top two scorers are Karli Kenley (18.5 points per game) and Preva Edwards (15.0 points per game). Arkansas Tech’s top returning scorers from last season are senior All-America forward Natalia Santos (17.1 points per game) and junior all-conference forward Jessica Weatherford (12.6 points per game). The contest between the Golden Suns and the Lady Mustangs will mark the first basketball game played on the new hardwood floor at Tucker Coliseum. The new playing surface was installed over the summer. Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will broadcast Thursday’s game.
Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.
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