Arkansas Tech will reach the No. 1 national ranking in the NCAA Division II men's basketball top 25 for the first time ever after defeating the Harding Bisons 82-71 at Rhodes Field House in Searcy on Saturday night.
The nationally second-ranked Wonder Boys (16-0 overall, 3-0 Gulf South Conference) will ascend to the No. 1 spot when the new national poll comes out on Tuesday because of their win and top-ranked Augusta State's 81-75 loss to Valdosta State earlier on Saturday.
Tech went on a 10-0 run late in the first half on Saturday night to take the lead for good. The Wonder Boys held a 42-38 edge at halftime and never trailed again.
The final dagger came with 2:23 remaining when Brandon Friedel hit a 3-pointer to give Tech a 76-65 lead.
The Wonder Boys iced it by making 6-of-8 at the free throw line over the last 1:16.
Friedel finished with 21 points. Jeremy Dunbar had 18 points and Renard Allen scored 14 points for Tech.
Stephen Blake scored a game-high 22 points for Harding (8-7, 1-2).
The Wonder Boys will visit Ouachita Baptist for an 8 p.m. game in Arkadelphia on Thursday.