(Photo Courtesy: Daniel Gallegos)
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - Trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, the Southern Arkansas women's basketball team roared back to pull to within a point, 62-61, with just under two minutes left to play in their game against Arkansas Tech on Saturday afternoon at Tucker Coliseum. Unfortunately, Tech would go on an 11-2 run over the rest of the game to come away with a 73-63 win.
At the conclusion of the first half, the Golden Suns (15-8, 11-6 GAC) had staked themselves to a six-point lead, but the two-possession advantage at halftime was not necessarily indicative of how close the play was in that half. In fact, that six-point lead was the largest by either team. Additionally, the score was tied up on five occasions and the lead changed hands eight times.
Early in the second half, however, the Golden Suns would begin to pull away from the Lady Muleriders (11-13, 7-11 GAC) as ATU opened up on a 9-2 run to take their largest lead of the game, 16 points, 44-28, with 17:43 remaining in the game.
The Golden Suns would maintain a double-digit lead over the next six minutes of game time before a pair of made free throws by Mariam Ridgwell at the 11:04 mark, brought the Lady Muleriders to within single digits, 49-40. Those two free throws were a part of a 10-2 run that started with Lady Muleriders down 13 points, 49-36, at the 13:03 mark, and ended at 7:13 on the game clock with SAU trailing by just five points, 51-46.
Over the next five minutes of the game, the Lady Muleriders kept themselves within striking distance as they continued to inch closer to the lead. That never-ending resolve brought the Lady Muleriders as close as one-point, 62-61, after Chanel Miller drained a three-pointer with just 1:54 left in the game.
From there, however, the shooting went cold for the Lady Muleriders as they were 0-for-5 from the floor and just 2-for-4 from the free throw line. The Golden Suns would take advantage of that cold spell by the Lady Muleriders as they were a perfect 2-for-2 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the free throw line en route to coming away with a 10-point win, 73-63.
Two Lady Muleriders scored in double figures with Miller leading the way with 18 points. Ashley Riggles was next in scoring with 12. All 12 of Riggles' points came from beyond the arc.
The Lady Muleriders will now prepare for their final road game of the regular season as they travel to Monticello on Thursday, February 27 to take on Arkansas-Monticello. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m