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Late 3-Pointers Help Wonder Boys Pull Away

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Nationally 15th-ranked Arkansas Tech was forced to play without one of its top scorers and the Wonder Boys could not find the range from the 3-point arc for much of the night on Thursday against Henderson State.

But the Wonder Boys (16-3 overall, 7-0 Gulf South Conference) haven't won 46 of their last 51 games by giving in to excuses or relenting in the face of adversity.

Arkansas Tech used a plus-26 turnover margin to pull away from the Reddies and post an 81-56 victory at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Jeremy Dunbar, who averages 13.3 points per game, was out sick for Tech on Thursday. His 3-point shooting was clearly missed during the first 34 minutes of the game as the Wonder Boys made just two of their first 13 tries from beyond the arc.

As a result, Tech's lead was an uncomfortably slim 63-54 with 6:07 remaining.

The turning point came at the 5:56 mark when Johnie Davis hit a 3-pointer from the right wing. His shot built the Wonder Boys' lead back into double figures for good.

Davis added another 3-pointer with 4:03 to go and Matt Haney (photographed) drilled a trey with 3:27 left that made it 74-56.

It was all part of an 18-2 Arkansas Tech run to close the game that clinched the Wonder Boys' 10th consecutive win and kept them in sole possession of first place in the GSC West Division.

Arkansas Tech came in ranked second in NCAA Division II in turnover margin (plus 8.5 turnovers per game). Henderson State came in ranked 246th in the nation in that category (minus 2.84 turnovers per game). Both teams lived up to their reputation on Thursday.

The Wonder Boys made 22 assists against just eight turnovers, while the Reddies had just nine assists and committed 34 turnovers.

James Causey and Jared Williamson led Tech with 17 points apiece. Causey also had six steals. Davis finished with 14 points and Haney scored 11 points.

Zech Smith paced the Reddies (6-14, 1-7) with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Wonder Boys will welcome the Southern Arkansas Muleriders to Tucker Coliseum for a GSC contest on Saturday, Feb. 5. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free.