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Staying Alive: Suns Slip Past UAM in Overtime

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can also be heard over the Internet at the official Arkansas Tech Athletics site. "We struggled here last year," said Golden Suns head coach Dave Wilbers, who saw his top-seeded Tech team fall to Southeastern Oklahoma State in the first round of the 2012 GAC Tournament. "That has to be in the back of your mind. We were in the same locker room as last year. But our team was focused and came ready to play basketball tonight." Jasmine Poole's offensive rebound and put-back basket off a missed free throw with 2:31 left in the second half sparked Arkansas Tech to an 8-1 run to close regulation. "UAM had all kinds of momentum at that point," said Wilbers. "Jasmine was able to bust through and get that rebound, and it really broke their momentum." Tech's Jessica Weatherford tied the score at 57-57 on a layup with 15.4 seconds left in the second half, and Caitlyn Spurgeon blocked a 3-point try by UAM's Candace Virgadamo at the buzzer to force overtime. The Golden Suns scored the first four points of the extra period and maintained the lead throughout overtime. Jordan Goforth notched a 3-point play with 2:06 left in overtime to pull the Cotton Blossoms within 63-62, but those proved to be the final three points of the game for UAM. Weatherford made 2-of-2 free throws at the 1:10 mark of overtime and nailed a fade-away 10-foot jumper from the lane with 14 seconds remaining to put it away. "Jessica has always had a great fade-away, even when she was at Lake Hamilton High School," said Wilbers. "I know about her when I arrived at Tech (in 2007), and I knew that was a player we had to have." A senior from Bonnerdale, Weatherford finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds. Rosie Silva scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists and made four steals. The senior from Caracas, Venezuela, became the Golden Suns' all-time leader in career steals with 268. Two-time All-American Jennifer Richardson previously held the record with 267 career steals from 1994-98. Poole added 10 points and eight rebounds. Goforth netted 23 points for UA-Monticello, one shy of matching her career high. The Cotton Blossoms complete their season with a record of 6-21. Arkansas Tech is now 9-2 against UAM in the postseason all-time and 6-0 against the Cotton Blossoms all-time on neutral floors. Tech has won its last three postseason match-ups with its old rival from Monticello. The Golden Suns improved their all-time postseason record to 97-37 and their all-time record in NCAA conference tournament games to 24-8.]]>