On a Thursday night when Arkansas Tech University owned the glass, it was an offensive rebound that turned the tide permanently in the Wonder Boys' favor.
Bennie Lufile's put-back basket in the closing minutes pushed Arkansas Tech to a 78-66 Great American Conference win over Ouachita Baptist University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
The Wonder Boys (8-3 overall, 4-3 GAC) led by as many as 14 points in the second half before the Tigers (6-5, 4-3) rallied. Ouachita pulled within 69-62 at the 3:59 mark on a pair of Carven Holcolmbe free throws.
On the ensuing possession, Lufile grabbed an offensive rebound, banked the basketball home, was fouled and made the free throw with 3:28 left to rebuild Tech's lead into double figures at 72-62.
The margin never dipped below eight points the rest of the way as the Wonder Boys improved to 7-1 at home this season.
"That was a big play," said Arkansas Tech head coach Chad Kline. "They went zone, and we were struggling to score. We had hit a lull, and as well as (Ouachita) shoots it, they're never out of it."
Arkansas Tech out-rebounded OBU 44-28. The Wonder Boys scored 24 second-chance points.
Lufile finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of 2016-17.
Alex Brown led the Wonder Boys in scoring with 18 points. Branden Williams had 17 points and nine rebounds off the bench, and Justin Graham contributed 12 points to Tech's cause. Freddy Lee had six points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Holcolmbe netted a season-high 24 points for the Tigers.
The Wonder Boys will travel to Magnolia to face Southern Arkansas University at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.