Golden Suns Match Best Start Ever

Arkansas Tech matched the best start to a season in the 33-year history of its women’s basketball program with a 75-52 win over the Southern Arkansas Lady Muleriders at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday night.

With the win, the nationally 16th-ranked Golden Suns (14-0 overall, 1-0 Gulf South Conference) matched the school-record start of 14-0 posted by the 1979-80 Arkansas Tech women’s squad.

Tech’s Jenny Vining scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the first half, while Natalia Santos poured in 16 of her 22 points for the Golden Suns in the second half. Santos added a game-high 12 rebounds.

Shaquilah Davis (photographed) finished with eight points, six rebounds and two steals. Jessica Weatherford added eight points of her own.

Southern Arkansas led 12-11 with 10:21 left in the first half, but that proved to be its final advantage of the night. Laura Beth Anderson scored for Tech on an offensive rebound and put back with 10:00 to go in the half, sparking an 11-0 surge that put the Suns in front 22-12 at the 7:38 mark.

The Lady Muleriders (5-8, 0-1) climbed back to within six points on three occasions before halftime. The half ended with an Anderson steal and assist that led to a 3-pointer by Vining and a 35-23 Suns’ edge at halftime.

Tech kept SAU at arm’s distance the rest of the way as the Golden Suns won their eighth straight over the Lady Muleriders. It is the fourth straight year in which Tech has won its first GSC West women’s game of the season.

Cha’Kia Lee led SAU with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Golden Suns will host Henderson State for a 5:30 p.m. GSC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday.