Perimeter shooting might be the biggest key to victory for the nationally seventh-ranked Arkansas Tech Golden Suns when they visit the Christian Brothers Lady Buccaneers on Monday.
Tip-off between the Golden Suns (18-0 overall, 5-0 Gulf South Conference) and the Lady Buccaneers (13-5, 4-2) is set for 5 p.m. Monday at Canale Arena in Memphis, Tenn.
Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast, which will also be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.
Christian Brothers ranks among the top three teams in the GSC in field goal percentage defense, but that is built mostly upon strong post defense.
The Lady Buccaneers have proven vulnerable to the 3-point shot. They rank 13th in the GSC and 207th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.338).
Arkansas Tech, which leads the GSC and ranks third nationally in scoring offense (83.6 points per game), has the weapons to take advantage of that CBU weakness.
Junior guard Jenny Vining leads NCAA Division II in 3-point field goals per game (4.1), and she ranks ninth in the country in scoring (20.4 points per game).
Vining has already made 74 3-pointers this season, which is tied four fourth-most by a Golden Sun in a single season ever. She needs 25 more successful tries from beyond the arc to break the school record of 98 3-pointers set by Mindy Lasater during Tech’s NCAA Division II national runner-up season in 1998-99.
Add in sophomore forward Katie Horsman (19-of-42, 45 percent from 3-point range), and the Golden Suns have two proven shooters that could add to the Lady Buccaneers’ defensive woes on the perimeter.
“We are pretty consistent shooting the 3-point shot,” said Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “We’ll look to get some 3-point shots off. I’d like to see us get some 3-point shots in transition and then follow up with some rebounds and put backs. We’ve talked with our team about how important it will be to get in good offensive rebounding position.
“I think our style and their style will make it an exciting game,” continued Wilbers. “I’ll be surprised if they don’t want to get up and down the floor and maybe press a little bit, too. Maybe we can get into our bench, which I hope we can because I like our depth and our bench.”
Christian Brothers will enter Monday on a three-game winning streak. The Lady Bucs went to Magnolia and defeated Southern Arkansas 71-64 on Thursday behind 21 points from Tameka Wooten.
CBU made 28-of-36 (78 percent) from the free throw line in the victory.
The Golden Suns have had more than a week to bask in the glow of their 56-47 win over then second-ranked Delta State on Saturday, Jan. 23.
It was Tech’s first women’s basketball win over DSU since 2005, and it vaulted the Suns into sole possession of first place in the GSC West.
The Suns have seen two games postponed by inclement weather since their victory over the Lady Statesmen, and that will make for a very busy week starting Monday.
After its trip to CBU, Tech will head to Magnolia on Thursday, Feb. 4, for a 5:30 p.m. contest against Southern Arkansas. Then, the Suns will return home to host Arkansas-Monticello at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Tucker Coliseum.]]>