Wonder Boys Move Into First-Place Tie

Jeremy Hoard scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys to an 89-72 Great American Conference win over the Southern Arkansas Muleriders at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center in Magnolia on Saturday night.

Hoard was 7-of-8 from 3-point range as the Wonder Boys (14-4 overall, 6-2 GAC) pulled into a tie for first place in the Great American Conference standings with Henderson State (11-7, 6-2), which suffered a 78-62 loss at Harding on Saturday.

“(Hoard) was unbelieveable tonight,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Doug Karleskint. “The sad thing is we have to beg him to shoot it. We’ve been doing that for the past two weeks. When he’s on, we’re tough to beat. I thought his shooting really spread the defense out, and that allowed Mykel (Cleveland) to take over the game.”

Cleveland and Jared Williamson added 14 points apiece for Arkansas Tech, which beat SAU for a ninth consecutive meeting.

Matt Haney had 13 points and Johnie Davis notched 11 points as the Wonder Boys improved to 6-1 in their last seven games.

Arkansas Tech led 44-35 at halftime, but SAU rallied to tie the score at 51-51 with 13:29 remaining.

Will Paul’s 8-foot jumper in the lane put the Wonder Boys back in front for good. It was the beginning of a 16-5 spurt that gave Arkansas Tech a 67-56 advantage with 8:16 left.

The lead stayed at seven points or greater the rest of the way, and Hoard’s 3-pointer with 5:12 left pushed the advantage into double figures to stay.

Chris Davis had a team-high 16 points for Southern Arkansas (11-9, 4-4).

The Wonder Boys were 14-of-25 (56 percent) from 3-point range and 15-of-17 (88 percent) at the free throw line.

Arkansas Tech finished with a 29-28 rebounding edge and a 29-19 margin in bench scoring.

The Wonder Boys will open the second half of their GAC schedule by visiting Arkansas-Monticello for a 7:30 p.m. game at Steelman Field House in Monticello on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech men’s basketball.