Wonder Boys Shoot Past ECU 83-68

A fast start to the second half made all the difference for Arkansas Tech University’s men’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon.

The Wonder Boys (13-6 overall, 7-6 Great American Conference) outscored East Central University 19-5 over the first 4:59 of the second half and never looked back in an 83-68 win over the Tigers at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

“We started keeping a new stat on the bench on Thursday night,” said Chad Kline, ATU head coach. “If we get three stops in a row, we call it a shutout. We wanted six shutouts today, and we got eight. That’s back-to-back games we’ve held an opponent in the 60s. This group of guys did something today that we haven’t done in a while.”

The win ended a six-game losing streak for Arkansas Tech against East Central. It was the Wonder Boys’ first win over the Tigers since the 2015 GAC Tournament championship game.

R.J. Glasper scored a team-high 25 points for ATU. Montrell Williams added 22 points and 15 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and the third double-double of his two-year Tech career.

The Wonder Boys connected on 14-of-34 3-point tries and out-rebounded ECU 37-32.

Tech’s defense forced East Central into a string of 13 consecutive missed field goal attempts late in the first half. As a result, the Wonder Boys built a 39-25 lead with four minutes remaining before the intermission.

The Tigers responded with a 9-0 run to get back in the game, but Mason Cline got the last laugh of the half for the Wonder Boys. His 3-pointer with 13 seconds to go sent Tech to the locker room with a 42-34 lead.

Glasper started the surge to begin the second half with a layup at the 19:31 mark. He scored eight points during Tech’s decisive run to begin the half.

Freddy Lee added two 3-pointers during the spurt, including the trey that capped the surge and gave the Wonder Boys a 61-39 lead with 15:01 left. Lee finished with 12 points and five rebounds.

Tyler Armstrong scored a season-high 20 points for ECU (10-7, 8-5).

The Wonder Boys will take on Northwestern Oklahoma State University in GAC play at Percefull Fieldhouse in Alva, Okla., on Thursday, Feb. 1. Tip-off is scheduled forĀ 7:30 p.m.

Live coverage will be available from radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com.