A quick start to the second half allowed the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys to coast to an 82-47 Great American Conference win over the East Central University Tigers at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday afternoon.
The Wonder Boys (17-4 overall, 9-2 GAC) used a 12-0 run over a span of 3:26 to open a 47-24 lead with 15:18 left in the game. Arkansas Tech went on to lead by as many as 40 points in the second half as the Wonder Boys won their sixth consecutive game.
"Coming out with a lack of energy and enthusiasm to start the second half has been a weakness for our team this season, especially when we have a double-digit lead at halftime like we did tonight," said Arkansas Tech head coach Doug Karleskint, whose team led 35-22 at the intermission on Saturday. "We've talked about how good teams put people away, and we did that tonight by attacking the basket."
Mykel Cleveland scored six points during Tech's 12-0 run early in the second half. He finished the game with 10 points.
Johnie Davis led the Wonder Boys with 12 points. Jeremy Hoard added 10 points. Chase White (10 points) and Tyler Friedel (nine points) both established new career highs in scoring.
The Wonder Boys made 14-of-31 (45 percent) from 3-point range. They forced East Central into more turnovers (19) than made field goals (13). ECU shot 26 percent from the floor.
Hayden Darst scored a team-high 10 points for the Tigers (4-18, 1-11).
With the win, Arkansas Tech maintained sole possession of second place in the GAC standings. Henderson State (15-7, 9-2) maintained the league lead with an 88-85 win over Arkansas-Monticello on a steal and 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jonathan Fitzgerald.
The Wonder Boys will visit Southeastern Oklahoma State in further GAC action on Thursday, Feb. 16. Tip-off in Durant, Okla., will be at 7:30 p.m.
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