Tech Tidbits: ATU Teams Start GAC Play 2-0

Alex Hill Studio 2022
Alex Hill recorded her seventh career double-figure scoring game and reached 200 career points in Arkansas Tech's 80-77 overtime win at Ouachita Baptist on Saturday.

Arkansas Tech head women’s basketball coach Dave Wilbers issued a challenge to several of his players before the Golden Suns took the practice floor on Friday. Playing time was up for grabs, and it had to be earned.

Sophomore guard Alex Hill of Harrison answered the challenge.

“Alex came in and had her best practice of the year,” said Wilbers. “She was getting after it and went and grabbed minutes. It carried over to how she played against Ouachita.”

Hill scored 19 points and made four steals to help the Golden Suns (4-2 overall, 2-0 Great American Conference) defeat Ouachita Baptist 80-77 in overtime at Vining Arena in Arkadelphia on Saturday.

It wasn’t the first time Hill has made a big difference for Arkansas Tech. She posted career highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds on the final day of the 2021-22 regular season to lead the Golden Suns to an 80-65 win at Southern Arkansas. With the win, ATU’s women clinched a berth in the 2022 GAC Tournament.

Once the Golden Suns reached Shawnee, Okla., for their first-round match-up with Southern Nazarene, Hill made the game-winning, buzzer-beating layup in a 67-65 victory. Arkansas Tech went on to reach the GAC Tournament championship game and Hill was named to the all-tournament team.

In the win over Ouachita Baptist on Saturday, Hill’s tenacity in fighting for loose balls was as valuable as her season-high scoring total.

“What I’m really proud of is we made a lot of mistakes out there, but we kept fighting every possession and we made some plays at the end,” said Wilbers. “For us to win two conference games during final exams was difficult, but I credit our players. They came with a good focus.”

There were several “first time since” notations associated with the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys’ 74-65 overtime win at Ouachita Baptist on Saturday.

It was the first win at Vining Arena for ATU’s men since 2018. It gave the Wonder Boys (4-4 overall, 2-0 GAC) back-to-back road wins and an overall four-game winning streak for the first time since 2019. And it allowed the Arkansas Tech men to begin league play 2-0 for the first time since 2016-17, which is the last time the Wonder Boys earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

“It’s been a tough two years,” said Mark Downey, ATU head men’s basketball coach, following the win at Ouachita. “We’re chipping away at it. That’s been our mode of operation for the last couple of years. Players have a hard time when they first come to the program because we demand perfection. We’re fighting for that every single possession, and it’s starting to show through. We’re still a long way from what we can be, but guys are starting to play better, learn their roles and make plays for each other. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re going to keep fighting.”

Arkansas Tech will host Henderson State for a GAC doubleheader on Monday, Dec. 12. Game times are 4 p.m. (women) and 6 p.m. (men). It will be the final chance to see the Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys at Tucker Coliseum until Jan. 12. Tickets are available at

Live coverage of the ATU-HSU doubleheader will be provided by KCJC 102.3 FM and

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Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.