Ouachita Baptist guard Austin Mitchell scored 26 points to lead the Ouachita Baptist Tigers to a 92-88 victory over the nationally ninth-ranked Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys in the regular season finale on Saturday night at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.
Mitchell was 8-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
His 3-pointer from deep in the right corner with 23 seconds left gave Ouachita Baptist an 89-86 lead. Mitchell made 3-of-4 from the free throw line over the final 12.9 seconds to ice it for the Tigers.
The loss ended Arkansas Tech's 16-game winning streak and cost the Wonder Boys (22-4 overall, 13-1 Gulf South Conference) a chance to finish undefeated in GSC West Division play.
Ouachita Baptist (11-15, 6-8), which did not qualify for the postseason, shot 30-of-50 (60 percent) from the field. The Tigers were 12-of-24 (50 percent) from 3-point range.
That hot shooting allowed OBU to overcome 24 turnovers.
For a while on Saturday night, it looked like it would be just another Arkansas Tech come-from-behind win.
The Wonder Boys, who were 5-2 when trailing at halftime this season going into their game against Ouachita Baptist, fell behind early after the Tigers made their first seven tries from beyond the 3-point arc. OBU led 46-43 at halftime.
Arkansas Tech made its familiar second-half push starting with a James Causey (photographed) layup at the 13:03 mark.
A pair of technical fouls against the Tigers yielded four Matt Haney free throws and the Wonder Boys had their first lead at 62-61 with 13:03 left.
Those six points were the start of an 11-0 Arkansas Tech run that put the Wonder Boys in front 67-61 with 11:56 to go.
It seemed the script had reached the point where Ouachita Baptist would wilt, but Mitchell had other ideas.
He scored 13 points in the final 3:55, including that decisive, fade-away 3-pointer from the right corner with 23 seconds left.
Jeremy Dunbar led Arkansas Tech in scoring with 22 points. Causey scored 19 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and made five steals.
Johnie Davis (15 points), Jared Williamson (11 points) and Laithe Massey (10 points, six rebounds, six assists) also reached double figures in scoring for the Wonder Boys.
Julian LaDay added 17 points and six assists for Ouachita Baptist, which won four of its final six games this season.
The GSC West Division champion Wonder Boys will face the North Alabama Lions in the first round of the GSC Tournament at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss., on Friday, March 4. The game will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Arkansas Tech defeated the Lions 75-57 earlier this season in a non-conference game at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Dec. 17, 2010. That victory was the beginning of the Wonder Boys' 16-game winning streak that ended against Ouachita Baptist on Saturday.
Radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will broadcast all games involving Arkansas Tech at the GSC Tournament. The broadcasts will be streamed over the Internet at www.athletics.atu.edu.
Click here to view the GSC Tournament home page.
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