A 13-3 run midway through the second half on Thursday night sent Arkansas Tech University to an 88-82 victory against Harding University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
Alex Brown sparked the surge with a layup that gave the Wonder Boys a 59-56 lead with 16:10 to play. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Will Adler and a trey by Mason Cline ballooned the margin to 68-56 with 14:04 remaining.
Jacob Patterson and Adler capped the run with consecutive layups and the Wonder Boys led 72-59 at the 11:45 mark.
Arkansas Tech (9-14 overall, 7-10 Great American Conference) saw its advantage dwindle to 78-72 in the closing minutes, but Freddy Lee notched a 3-point play with 2:56 left and the Wonder Boys made 8-of-9 free throws over the final three minutes to hold on for the win.
"We scored it at a pretty high clip in the first half, and I was hoping it wasn't going to be one of those games where we were going to have to just outscore them," said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. "We were able to get some stops in the second half and keep them at arm's length."
Lee finished with 21 points for his second consecutive 20-plus point scoring performance. He also dished out five assists to reach 500 for his career.
The Clarksville product is just the third Wonder Boy to ever reach that plateau. The others are Eddie Corder (674 assists, 1987-90) and Ron Edmonds (615 assists, 1969-73).
Cline connected on 6-of-11 3-pointers to notch 18 points for ATU. Adler had 11 points, while Ramses Sandifer and Brown contributed 10 points apiece.
J.P. Brandon scored a season-high 19 points and collected nine rebounds for the Bisons (5-18, 3-14), who suffered their 14th consecutive loss.
The Wonder Boys will host the University of Arkansas-Monticello for a 3 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Tickets ($5 adults/$3 students and senior citizens) will be available at the door. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid ATU identification card.
Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.