Wonder Boys Take Down Florida Tech

It was a game of runs at the Clemente Center in Melbourne, Fla., on Saturday afternoon, and the last surge belonged to Arkansas Tech University.

The Wonder Boys (7-2) slipped past the Florida Tech Panthers 74-73 to complete a 2-0 trip to the Sunshine State and extend their winning streak to six consecutive games.

Arkansas Tech led 43-27 at halftime, but Florida Tech (9-3) outscored the Wonder Boys 34-12 over the first 13 minutes of the second half to earn a 61-55 advantage.

DeChriston McKinney sparked Arkansas Tech with five straight points to stop the Panthers’ momentum. The Wonder Boys tied the score at 68-68 on a fast break layup by Bryson Fletcher at the 2:09 mark.

Tyler Corley regained the lead for Arkansas Tech with a pair of free throws. Randy Echols answered with a jumper in the lane for Florida Tech to even the score at 70-70 with 1:11 left.

Two more Corley free throws gave the Wonder Boys the lead for good at 72-70 with 55 seconds remaining. A pair of Tobe Okafor blocked shots in the final minute helped Arkansas Tech maintain the advantage, and Andrew Guillory put it away for the Wonder Boys by making two free throws with three seconds to go.

Florida Tech’s Patrick Anderson set the final margin by making a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Corley finished with 17 points, while McKinney had career highs of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Their play helped Arkansas Tech finish with a 34-15 advantage in points off the bench.

Marquis Yates contributed 14 points and Fletcher notched 10 points. Guillory had eight points and a season-high six assists. Okafor finished with six blocked shots, two shy of the single-game school record set by Thiago Cordeiro with eight blocks against Delta State University in 2009.

Arkansas Tech finished with a 52-32 rebounding edge and a 16-3 advantage in fast break points.

Sam Daniel paced Florida Tech with 16 points.

The Wonder Boys will break for the holidays and return to action on Saturday, Jan. 2, against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Tip-off for the non-conference game is set for 3 p.m. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.