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Postseason Push Underway for ATU Teams

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Arkansas Tech University is banking its postseason basketball hopes on the fact that there's no place like Tucker Coliseum.

The Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys will play seven of their final 10 regular season Great American Conference doubleheaders at home, beginning with contests this week against East Central University (5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University (1 and 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2).

Both Arkansas Tech teams are on the bubble to make the GAC Tournament following wins at Northwestern Oklahoma State University on Saturday. The Golden Suns have qualified for the postseason every year since 2007. The Wonder Boys' postseason streak dates back to 2008.

The top eight women's teams and the top eight men's teams in the final league standings will advance to the GAC Tournament March 7-10 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tickets for this week's games ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid ATU identification card.

ATU Golden Suns (7-11, 4-8 GAC) vs. ECU Tigers (14-4, 9-3 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/
Series: ATU leads 13-7

About the Golden Suns: Arkansas Tech is 8-1 all-time in home women's basketball games against East Central. The Tigers' only win at Tucker Coliseum came in their first visit, which resulted in a 74-67 ECU victory on Nov. 29, 1986. Junior guard Hannah Villines (12.2 points per game) and sophomore guards Jacie Higgins (10.9 points per game) and Ke'Vonshaye Stackhouse (10.2 points per game) are Tech's leading scorers this season. Stackhouse matched her season high with 21 points in the Suns' 75-54 win at Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday.

About the Tigers: East Central is in sole possession of second place in the GAC standings. The Tigers lead the GAC in scoring defense (59.4 points allowed per game) and they rank second in the league in field goal percentage defense (.360). Senior forward Lakin Preisner leads ECU in scoring (13.7 points per game) and rebounding (8.3 per game). She made two free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 61-59 home win over Arkansas Tech on Jan. 5.

ATU Wonder Boys (6-12, 4-8 GAC) vs. ECU Tigers (11-6, 8-4 GAC)
When: Thursday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville 
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/
Series: ECU leads 17-11

About the Wonder Boys: Arkansas Tech earned back-to-back wins for the first time this season by topping Southwestern Oklahoma State University 103-92 and Northwestern Oklahoma State 74-72 during its road trip last week. ATU leads NCAA Division II in 3-point field goals made (13.2 per game). Sophomore guard R.J. Glasper (19.1 points per game) and senior guards Will Adler (14.9 points per game) and Alex Brown (13.9 points per game) are the Wonder Boys' leading scorers. Glasper is 80 points away from becoming the 33rd Tech men's basketball player to reach 1,000 points for his career.

About the Tigers: East Central has won four its last five games. Thursday's contest at ATU will be the first of five consecutive road games for the Tigers. Junior guard Camron Talley is the reigning GAC player of the week. He averaged 27 points per game in wins over Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University last week. Talley (21.3 points per game) ranks second in the GAC in scoring this season and his 1,125 career points are 14th-most in ECU history. He had 25 points, 23 of which came in the second half, when the Tigers defeated Arkansas Tech 95-78 on Jan. 5.