Wonder Boys Roll Into GSC Semifinals

In a game of spurts by both teams, it was the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys who made the decisive run on Friday night to pull away for a 79-60 victory over the West Georgia Wolves in the first round of the Gulf South Conference Tournament at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss.

The nationally second-ranked Wonder Boys (27-1) outscored West Georgia 18-2 over a span of 6:21 midway through the second half to take a 70-46 lead with 5:31 remaining.

That spurt was the knockout blow as Arkansas Tech won its fourth consecutive game at the GSC Tournament and set up a semifinal showdown with nationally seventh-ranked Valdosta State (25-3) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Wonder Boys beat the Blazers 79-66 in the 2009 GSC Tournament championship game.

Tech led 42-27 at halftime on Friday, but the Wolves (13-15) scored the first seven points of the second half. Vojin Svilar hit a 3-pointer with 12:26 remaining that got UWG to within 52-44.

That was as close as it got. Two free throws by Renard Allen and a 3-pointer from Marcus Pillow were the start of the 18-2 run that put this one away for the Wonder Boys.

Arkansas Tech’s Brandon Friedel (photographed) led all scorers with 24 points. Pillow scored the first eight points of the game and matched his season high with 16. Allen added 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Svilar hit five 3-pointers and led UWG with 18 points. John Pringle added 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live play-by-play coverage of the Arkansas Tech-Valdosta State game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.