After waiting 619 days to get back on the court, Arkansas Tech University guard Jalei Oglesby is making the most of her third chance to play for the Golden Suns.
Oglesby entered this week averaging 16 points per game, which placed her seventh in the Great American Conference in scoring early in the 2022-23 season.
She was the leading freshman scorer in NCAA Division II women’s basketball (19.4 points per game) when she suffered a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 14, 2019. The Howe, Okla., product went through surgery and rehabilitation, returned to the floor to average 12.9 points per game during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season and helped the Golden Suns earn a bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Sometime before the 2021-22 season, that surgically-repaired knee wasn’t feeling right. It was discovered Oglesby needed another surgery. This time, she lost a full season.
When I was asked about her recovery by Golden Suns’ fans or radio folks from other schools, my stock response was she’d be an all-conference performer if she could come back at 80 percent of what she was before the injuries. So far, she appears to be much closer to 100 percent of the player who arrived at ATU as the third-leading scorer in the history of Oklahoma high school girls’ basketball.
“Jalei has the ability to score in a lot of different ways,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head women’s basketball coach. “She’s shooting the 3-pointer phenomenally so far this year. With her ability to get to the basket and finish in a lot of different ways, the improvement in her 3-point shooting makes her even more difficult to defend.”
ATU’s women (1-1) will host Lane College (1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22) and Christian Brothers University (2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27) this week in their final two tune-ups before the beginning of GAC play. Live coverage of both games will be available on KCJC 102.3 FM, the KCJC Radio app and www.arkansastechsports.com.
You are invited to join us for some pre-Thanksgiving basketball from the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo., this week. The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys will take on William Jewell College at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, and visit the Drury University Panthers for a 7:45 p.m. contest on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Live coverage from Springfield will begin as soon as the Golden Suns’ game ends on Tuesday afternoon and again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on KCJC 102.3 FM, the KCJC Radio app and www.arkansastechsports.com.
ATU’s men (0-3) have struggled offensively early in the season. Through their first three games, the Wonder Boys have averaged 51.7 points per game. The good news is ATU led the GAC in scoring defense (60.3 points allowed per game) as the Wonder Boys made their way to Springfield this week.
“We’re just not making winning plays when we have to make winning plays,” said Mark Downey, ATU head men’s basketball coach, following a 56-49 loss to the University of Texas at Tyler on Thursday. “It’s extremely frustrating. We’re just having a really hard time getting the ball to go in the basket. We’ve got to figure it out somehow. When you’re only scoring 49 points, your margin for error is very small. We’ve got to get healthy and some guys have to step up.”
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.