Suns Maintain Hold on Second Place in GAC

A 13-0 run to begin the second quarter was the spark that sent Arkansas Tech University to an 87-62 Great American Conference women’s basketball victory over Southern Arkansas University at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Thursday night.

The Golden Suns (19-3 overall, 15-3 GAC) used that decisive spurt to open a 32-17 advantage with 4:47 left in the first half. Tech held SAU to two made field goals in the second quarter and went to halftime with a 37-23 edge.

The margin remained at least 14 points the rest of the way as the Golden Suns earned a seventh consecutive win over the Lady Muleriders (8-16, 7-11) and maintained sole possession of second place in the GAC standings with four regular season games remaining.

“I thought it was our best game of the season,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “Defense, rebounding…our bench did a fantastic job producing. We did a good job defensively of finding their shooters and carrying over what we had talked about in the scouting report. We came here, battled, hung in there and made plays. We’re playing very good basketball right now.”

Lyrik Williams paced Tech with 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half. It was her fourth game this season with 20 or more points.

Cheyenne North notched 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was her sixth double-double of the season and the ninth of her two-year career in the green and gold.

Ryann Goodsell also netted 14 points for the Suns. Kylie Ladd added 12 points and five assists, while Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Sue Key scored a team-high 20 points the the Lady Muleriders.

Arkansas Tech forced SAU into 21 turnovers and finished with a 27-7 edge in points off turnovers.

The Golden Suns will return home to Tucker Coliseum in Russellville to host Henderson State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest on Saturday, Feb. 17. The Reddies (18-6, 14-4) are one game behind Tech in the race for the No. 2 seed in the GAC Tournament.

Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Faculty, staff and students with their valid ATU identification card will be admitted free of charge.