SWOSU Tops Golden Suns 84-76

Nationally 25th-ranked Southwestern Oklahoma State University heated up from 3-point range in the second half and came back for an 84-76 win over Arkansas Tech University in women’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Thursday night.

The Lady Bulldogs (7-0 overall, 3-0 Great American Conference) connected on 8-of-14 attempts from beyond the arc after halftime and defeated the Golden Suns (4-1, 2-1) in Russellville for a second consecutive year.

“We tried everything we could defensively,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head coach. “We played man-to-man, zone, diamond-and-one…they had answers for everything. We missed a lot of two-foot shots we would normally make, but I loved the effort we gave. We’ll continue to get better. It’s a learning process for us. There are a lot of good things we can take away from this game.”

Arkansas Tech led 20-13 after one quarter. A pair of Tyra Aska 3-pointers to begin the second period cut the Golden Suns’ lead to a single point, and the Lady Bulldogs eventually pulled even at 22-22.

That was when Lyrik Williams asserted herself for ATU. She scored six points during a 12-0 run over a span of 2:28 that gave the Suns a 34-22 edge with 3:42 remaining in the half.

Southwestern Oklahoma State cut its deficit to 38-34 at the intermission and carried that momentum over to the second half. The Lady Bulldogs made 6-of-9 tries from 3-point range in the third quarter to take a 61-58 lead to the final quarter.

Arkansas Tech tied the score on two occasions during the fourth period, but Savannah Gray pushed SWOSU in front to stay at 70-67 on a 3-pointer with 4:02 left.

The Lady Bulldogs made 7-of-10 free throws over the final 1:21 to seal the win.

Tech’s Williams finished with a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. Jayana Sanders notched 17 points and Kylie Ladd had 11 points for the Suns.

Hailey Tucker and Hayden Priddy scored 17 points apiece for SWOSU.

The Golden Suns will host Northwestern Oklahoma State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 2. Live coverage will be available on KWKK 100.9 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.