Make it 11 up and 11 down for the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys in Gulf South Conference basketball play.
The nationally 12th-ranked Wonder Boys (20-3 overall, 11-0 GSC) maintained sole possession of first place in the GSC West Division and remained unbeaten in league play by defeating the Southern Arkansas Muleriders 76-66 at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Thursday.
The win clinched the Wonder Boys' third consecutive 20-win season. It is the longest such streak for Arkansas Tech's men since they had four straight 20-win seasons from 1991-92 through 1994-95.
This is the 22nd 20-win season in Tech men's basketball history.
Arkansas Tech took control of the first half with a 15-2 run over a span of 4:12. Ricky Allen capped the surge with a 3-pointer to give the Wonder Boys a 37-15 edge with 5:23 left before halftime.
Tech went on to lead 43-27 at the iintermission thanks in part to 12 first-half turnovers by Southern Arkansas (9-14, 1-10).
The Muleriders were not nearly as giving in the second half. They committed just three turnovers in the final 20 minutes, and that helped them cut the Wonder Boys' lead to 63-58 with 6:42 remaining.
A 7-foot floater from left of the lane by Laithe Massey and a 15-foot jumper from the right baseline by Jeremy Dunbar made it 67-58 Tech with 4:36 to go.
Dunbar made two free throws and Johnie Davis added one free toss to cap a 7-1 Wonder Boys' spurt. Tech led 70-59 with 2:10 left. A Matt Haney basket and 4-of-6 free throws over the final 1:25 helped the Wonder Boys hold on for their 14th consecutive win.
Dunbar had 19 points and Davis scored 18 to lead Tech. Haney added 12 points. James Giles had nine points and 10 rebounds.
David Noble paced the Muleriders with 20 points.
The Wonder Boys will return home to host the Delta State Statesmen on Saturday, Feb. 19. Tip-off at Tucker Coliseum is set for 6 p.m.
The ticket office will open at 3 p.m. Saturday. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free.
Click here to read more about Tech Athletics.]]>