Wonder Boys Extinguish Blazers 57-48

Arkansas Tech forced Valdosta State into 26 turnovers and advanced to the championship game of the 2010 Gulf South Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 57-48 win over the Blazers at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss., on Saturday night.

The nationally second-ranked Wonder Boys (28-1) finished with a 31-4 edge in points off turnovers. Tech held VSU All-America forward Tyrone Curnell to five points on 1-of-11 shooting from the field.

Tech led 29-20 at halftime and by as many as 16 points early in the second half.

Nationally seventh-ranked Valdosta State (25-4) cut its deficit to single digits twice, but Renard Allen turned them back the first time with consecutive put-back baskets and Brandon Friedel answered the second time with a 3-pointer.

Friedel’s trey gave the Wonder Boys a 48-38 advantage with 6:20 to go. The final blow was a Irvin Humphrey slam dunk with 1:31 left that made it 57-43.

Allen led Tech with 10 points. Tristan Crawford paced the Blazers wth 10 points.

The Wonder Boys will face Alabama-Huntsville at 2:45 p.m. Sunday in the GSC Tournament championship game.

The Chargers (23-8) advanced to the title game by defeating North Alabama 97-79 on Saturday night. UAH hit 17-of-34 (50 percent) from 3-point range in the win.

Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live play-by-play coverage from the DeSoto Civic Center. Coverage will begin at 11:45 a.m. with pre-game for the Golden Suns’ GSC Women’s Basketball Tournament title tilt against Delta State. The women’s contest is scheduled for a noon tip-off.