Arkansas Tech used its best defensive performance of the season to grind out a 69-57 win over the Harding Bisons in Great American Conference men's basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Monday night.
The Wonder Boys (12-4 overall, 4-2 GAC) held the Bisons to 35 percent shooting from the field, the lowest field goal percentage by an Arkansas Tech opponent this season.
"No doubt, this was our best defensive effort of the season," said Arkansas Tech head coach Doug Karleskint. "We went with the five guys who were playing the hardest and flying around."
Jared Williamson's bucket with 1:05 left in the first half gave the Wonder Boys a 24-18 edge at the intermission. The Wonder Boys broke it open with a 20-10 spurt over the first eight minutes of the second half. Tech led 44-28 with 11:22 to go.
Harding pulled within 56-48 at the 3:39 mark, but a pair of plays by Will Paul helped the Wonder Boys hang on.
He made a 3-pointer with 3:17 remaining to make it 59-48. Then, he took a 45-foot pass from Matt Haney and laid it in for two points plus a free throw with 2:07 left.
Arkansas Tech led 62-52, and it made 7-of-8 from the free throw line down the stretch to maintain a comfortable margin.
Williamson led the Wonder Boys with 21 points. He was 11-of-14 from the free throw line.
Tech's Haney notched 13 points, while Paul and Blake Mitchem added 10 points apiece. Mitchem was 2-of-2 from 3-point range and had a team-high nine rebounds.
Kirk Porter led the Bisons (8-8, 3-3) with 13 points.
The Wonder Boys will remain at home for a GAC contest against Ouachita Baptist on Thursday, Jan. 26. Tip-off at Tucker Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Arkansas Tech identification card will be admitted free of charge.
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