Wonder Boys Slip Past Royals 80-68

Nationally fifth-ranked Arkansas Tech survived an upset scare by defeating the Ecclesia College Royals 80-68 in non-conference men’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Wonder Boys (9-0) got 18 points apiece from Brandon Friedel and Renard Allen as they won their 11th consecutive home game dating back to last season.

Tech led 63-43 with 10:52 remaining, but a 15-0 run by Ecclesia cut the Wonder Boys’ advantage to five points with 6:01 left.

Allen hit two free throws and a layup to rebuild Tech’s lead to 67-58 with 4:40 to go.

It was still a nine-point Wonder Boys’ edge when Laithe Massey (photographed) scored five straight points for Tech over a span of 43 seconds to make it 75-61 at the 2:17 mark.

The Wonder Boys’ lead never dipped below 10 points the rest of the way.

Arkansas Tech’s Jeremy Dunbar scored 10 points, while Matt Haney scored eight of his career-high nine points for the Wonder Boys in the second half. Massey finished with nine points and six rebounds.

Eric Womack led Ecclesia (9-7) with 19 points. The Royals were 10-of-20 from 3-point range.

The Wonder Boys will visit North Alabama for a 3 p.m. contest at Flowers Hall in Florence, Ala., on Saturday. It will be game two of a doubleheader. The nationally 24th-ranked Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (8-0) will face North Alabama’s women at 1 p.m.

Both games will be broadcast by Russellville radio station KWKK 100.9 FM. The broadcast will be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.