Tech Tidbits: Four-Game Homestand Begins Thursday

Tommy Kamarad 1-6-2024
Arkansas Tech's Tommy Kamarad (15) made the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds remaining in the Wonder Boys' 68-65 win at Oklahoma Baptist on Thursday.

Competition humbles and teaches us so we have the opportunity to grow and improve.

Arkansas Tech University’s men’s basketball team received that opportunity on Saturday when Southern Nazarene University defeated the Wonder Boys 78-77 at the Sawyer Center in Bethany, Okla.

The loss ended ATU’s 11-game men’s basketball winning streak and gave the Wonder Boys (11-3 overall, 7-1 Great American Conference) their first GAC loss of the season.

“We let go of the rope, and that starts with me,” said Mark Downey, ATU head men’s basketball coach, following the loss at SNU. “A lot of things happened tonight that aren’t us. We didn’t rebound the basketball at all, and we haven’t rebounded the ball in the last three or four games. We didn’t adhere to the scouting report today. We tried to tell our guys…we’re going to get everybody’s best shot. It’s just the way it is when you’re at the top of the league. We didn’t make enough plays late to finish it tonight.”

ATU’s women (7-5, 4-4) played well enough from the floor to earn two wins during their road trip to Oklahoma last week, but they came home with a 52-48 loss at Oklahoma Baptist University and a 71-67 loss at Southern Nazarene.

Free throw shooting was the deciding factor in both games. The Golden Suns were a combined 14-of-32 (44 percent) from the free throw line in Shawnee and Bethany. Each of the Suns’ five losses this season have come by six points or less.

“It’s hard to give a great effort, play well and lose,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head women’s basketball coach. “It’s about going to that free throw line in a hostile situation. When the gym’s loud, you have to step up and make free throws. It’s as simple as that.”

Arkansas Tech’s next four GAC basketball doubleheaders are at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville. This week, the Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys will host Northwestern Oklahoma State University (5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18) and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20).

The subsequent week will bring Harding University (5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25) and the University of Arkansas-Monticello (1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27) to Tucker Coliseum.

Tickets for all ATU home basketball games ($5 adults, $3 children and senior citizens) are available for purchase at

Live coverage of ATU basketball games is available over KCJC 102.3 FM, and the EAB Media Group app.

Talk to you on the radio.

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.