(Photo Courtesy: ATU Athletics)
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (ATU) - Jacinda Myers-Sanders had a 15-point, nine-rebound performance, Caroline Eubanks contributed 15 points, while Danielle Frachiseur came off the bench to score 10 points as the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (15-8, 11-6 Great American Conference) took a 73-63 win over Southern Arkansas (11-13, 7-11 GAC) on Saturday at Tucker Coliseum.
The first half saw five ties and eight lead changes, as the two teams jockeyed for position. Southern Arkansas' early 5-2 lead two minutes in was quickly erased, and the pendulum swung the other way as Krisztina Velkey's jumper on the fast break gave Tech an 8-5 lead.
That was the story of the first half, as the two teams traded leads, with neither team getting more than a three-point advantage until the 1:20 mark, when Frachiseur hit a pair of free throws to put the Golden Suns up by five. After SAU's Allie Wade split a pair of free throws with 1:10 to play in the half, Jacinda Myers-Sanders took advantage of the fast break to put the Golden Suns up by six (32-26) with 1:02 to play, a score that would hold into the half.
While Tech held a 16-12 advantage in points in the paint, Southern Arkansas won the second chance points battle, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds in the first half alone, and holding a 13-4 advantage in second chance points.
However, with Myers-Sanders' bucket late in the first half serving as the catalyst, the Golden Suns used a 9-0 run to open up a 15-point (41-26) lead with 17:43 to play. Tech would lead by as many as 16 (44-28) with 16:43 to play after a 3-pointer by Anissa Pounds, but Southern Arkansas would not go away quietly.
The Lady Muleriders quickly cut the deficit to single-digits, pulling to within nine (49-40) with 11:04 to play in the contest, and getting to within two points (60-58) with 2:57 to play in the game.
Jacinda Myers-Sanders scored an inside bucket on the next possession to extend the Golden Suns' lead to 62-58 with 2:34 to play, but SAU's Chanel Miller hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 to play to pull SAU to within 62-61.
Eubanks' three-point play gave the Golden Suns a three-point lead, but the sophomore was called for a foul on the next possession, sending SAU's Miranda Grier to the line. She hit both free-throws to pull the Lady Muleriders to within 65-63, but the Golden Suns' defense would not allow SAU to put another point on the board, as Tech finished the game on an 8-0 run to give Tech a ten-point victory.
Tech was dominant in the paint, outscoring SAU 38-20. The two teams combined to commit 49 turnovers, with Tech outscoring SAU 20-19 on points off turnovers. SAU won the rebounding battle 36-29, boosted by a 22-9 advantage on the offensive glass, but Tech shot 55.3 percent from the floor to SAU's 37.1 percent.
Arkansas Tech will return to Tucker Coliseum on Monday, Feb. 24, facing Southeastern Oklahoma. A 5:30 p.m. tip-off is scheduled.