Semifinals Bound: Suns Roll Up Wolves 81-62

Jenny Vining scored 22 points and Jessica Weatherford notched a double-double on Thursday to lead the nationally second-ranked Arkansas Tech Golden Suns to an 81-62 win over the West Georgia Wolves in the first round of the Gulf South Conference Tournament at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss.

With the win, defending GSC Tournament champion Arkansas Tech advances to face Ouachita Baptist in the GSC Tournament semifinals at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.

The Golden Suns (25-2) used a 16-4 run over the final 5:25 of the first half to take a 46-34 lead at halftime.

Vining (photographed) hit two of her five first-half 3-pointers during the spurt. Tech was 17-of-27 (63 percent) from the field in the first half.

“We were running transition in the first half, getting some layups and kicking it out for 3-point shots,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. “We had the inside-outside game going and our offense was really clicking. It was a really good first half, and then I think we got a big lead and started to rest some.”

Arkansas Tech sealed its 11th consecutive win by outscoring West Georgia 12-1 over a span of 1:54 midway through the second half.

Laura Beth Anderson and Katie Horsman sparked the run with back-to-back 3-pointers. By the time Taise da Silva made two free throws at the 9:37 mark, the Suns led 69-44.

Tech put it on cruise control from there as the Suns improved to 21-7 all-time in the GSC Tournament and 5-0 all-time against West Georgia.

The Wolves ended their season with an overall record of 9-18.

Vining was 8-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-12 from 3-point range. She also had three assists and three steals.

Weatherford scored 18 points — 12 of which came after halftime. She also secured 11 rebounds for her 17th career double-double.

Shaquilah Davis added 12 points and six rebounds for the Golden Suns. Anderson made 10 assists.

Arkansas Tech cooled in the second half and finished 28-of-56 (50 percent) from the field. West Georgia shot just 32 percent (22-of-69) from the field for the game.

The Golden Suns were out-rebounded by 13 when they defeated West Georgia 66-56 during the regular season. On Thursday, Tech out-rebounded UWG 43-38.

Monica Williams paced the Wolves with 15 points and 10 rebounds. UWG’s Krystal Delph added 13 points.

Saturday’s semifinal between Arkansas Tech and Ouachita Baptist will be broadcast in the Arkansas River Valley by KWKK 100.9 FM.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.