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Too Many Turnovers for Golden Suns

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Turnover margin propelled East Central University to a 67-55 Great American Conference women's basketball victory over nationally 22nd-ranked Arkansas Tech University at the Kerr Activities Center in Ada, Okla., on Thursday night.

The Tigers (13-12 overall, 12-9 GAC) forced the Golden Suns into 18 turnovers and committed just eight of their own as ECU extended its winning streak to seven games.

"(East Central) played really well," said Arkansas Tech head coach Dave Wilbers. "We fell into their tempo. We turned it over a lot, and we missed free throws. When you do that on the road, you're going to get beat. We didn't deserve to win tonight."

East Central finished with a 17-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Despite the loss, the Golden Suns (20-5, 16-5) clinched the No. 2 seed in the GAC Tournament thanks to Harding University's 84-72 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

There were 11 lead changes and three ties during the opening half of the Tech-ECU game.

Arkansas Tech claimed a 28-26 edge with 1:19 left in the second quarter following back-to-back 3-pointers by Anissa Pounds and Calli White. ECU answered with an Aalyiah Blakley 3-pointer and a Jalyn Jackson layup to carry a 31-28 advantage to halftime.

The Golden Suns missed their first seven field goal tries of the second half. East Central took advantage, building a 39-30 lead at the 7:02 mark of the third quarter.

The Tigers led 47-39 at the end of three quarters. The closest Tech could get in the fourth quarter was 56-50 after a Pounds 3-pointer with 4:13 left, but Blakley answered with a trey of her own to push the margin back to nine points.

East Central sealed the deal by making 8-of-10 free throws over the final 2:16.

Pounds had 14 points and Danielle Frachiseur notched 10 points for the Golden Suns. Cheyenne North added eight points and 11 rebounds.

Devon Branch paced the Tigers with 16 points.

The Golden Suns will play their final game of the 2016-17 regular season when they visit Southeastern Oklahoma State University for a 1 p.m. GAC contest at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Okla., on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live coverage.