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Wilbers Sees Progress From Golden Suns

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Approximately one-third of the way through the 2010-11 basketball regular season, Arkansas Tech head women’s basketball coach Dave Wilbers is pleased with the progress that his nationally fifth-ranked Golden Suns have made so far. “I think we’ve definitely gotten better,” said Wilbers. “Our defense has improved. It’s been a step-by-step process, but as the weeks have gone by I’ve seen our team be more confident in each other and in what we are doing. The new players and the returners are more comfortable with each other and they understand what each other can do. Hopefully, we can continue our progress now that school is out, we have time to watch a lot of tape, practice and get better.” The Golden Suns (7-1) will welcome the Alabama-Huntsville Lady Chargers (2-6) to Tucker Coliseum for a 5:30 p.m. non-conference game tonight (Thursday, Dec. 16).

Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free. Arkansas Tech won its third consecutive game by defeating Lambuth University 69-39 on Saturday. Junior forward Natalia Santos scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, junior forward Katie Horsman added 10 points and senior guard Jenny Vining had a career-high seven steals. Alabama-Huntsville’s current streak is three games in the opposite direction. The Lady Chargers defeated Christian Brothers 82-74 on Nov. 29, but since then they have suffered consecutive defeats against Columbus State, Eckerd and Benedict. Among the 294 institutions that participate in NCAA Division II women’s basketball, UAH ranks 250th in scoring defense (74.7 points allowed per game), 241st in field goal percentage defense (.433), 215th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.348) and 248th in rebound margin (-6.6 rebounds per game). Meanwhile, Arkansas Tech ranks fourth in the nation in scoring offense (88.3 points per game), first in field goal percentage (.507), 16th in 3-point field goal percentage (.406) and 18th in rebound margin (+9.1 rebounds per game). The Golden Suns defeated the Lady Chargers 98-65 on Dec. 21, 2009, in Huntsville in their most recent meeting. Vining had a career-high 41 points in the win. It was the highest single-game scoring output by an Arkansas Tech women’s basketball player since Jan. 4, 1990, when Lanell Dawson scored 42 points against Louisiana College. With the performance, Vining joined fellow Tech All-Americans Dawson and Donna Brunson as the only Golden Suns to ever score 40 or more points in a game. Twenty-four hours after hosting Alabama-Huntsville, Arkansas Tech will entertain North Alabama for a 5:30 p.m. game on Friday, Dec. 17.

Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will broadcast the games. Live video and live audio will be available at www.athletics.atu.edu.

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