Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fifth-Ranked Golden Suns withstand 20 Three-Pointers from Alabama-Huntsville to Extend Home Win Streak to 24

RUSSELLVILLE,   Arkansas – Arkansas Tech Women’s Basketball withstood a Gulf South Conference season-best 20 three-pointers from Alabama-Huntsville to post a 99-86 victory over the Lady Chargers in GSC Crossover action at Tucker Coliseum.

The win, which improved the fifth-ranked Golden Suns to 8-1 on the season, extended Tech’s homecourt winning streak to 24 games and also ran Tech’s streak to 56 straight wins when scoring 75 or more points.

“It was a shoot out tonigt. We didn’t play our best game, but it is hard to argue with 99 points,” Golden Suns Head Coach Dave Wilbers said. “It was a crazy game and I’m glad we won it.”

The 20 three-pointers by the Lady Chargers is tied for the second-most in GSC history as North Alabama hit 20 treys against Lindsey Wilson during the 1998-99 season. The league record for most three-pointers in a game is 21, which was set by Arkansas-Monticello against Rhema Bible during the 2007-08 season.

“Give them (UAH) some credit. They were able to get 20 three’s on us tonight,” the fourth-year Tech coach said. “That some of the best long-range shooting I’ve ever seen from a team.”

The 86 points scored by UAH were the most allowed by the Golden Suns in a non-overtime game since allowing 93 points to Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 28, 2006. Last season, Tech allowed 86 points to Henderson State in a 90-86 overtime victory over the Lady Reddies.

UAH’s three-point shooting (20-for-40 from long distance) kept Tech, who finished the game shooting a season-high 65 percent from the field, from pulling out to a bigger lead in the second half. Tech shot 68 percent from the field in the second half.

After leading, 47-36 at the half, Tech, who shot 63 percent from the field in the first half, extended its lead to 55-41 just a little over three minutes into the second half following a lay-up by junior forward Natalia Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Santos finished the game with 22 points and seven rebounds to extend her double-digit scoring streak to 25 consecutive games.

Following Santos’ lay-up, UAH (2-7 on the season) used an 18-4 run over the next four minutes to tie the game at 59 following a three-pointer from Jasmine Hammon. Hammon, who finished 5-for-10 from the 3-point line, led all with 27 points.

Tech, though, answered UAH’s run with an 18-3 run of their own that was capped by a fast break lay-up by senior guard Shaquilah Davis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with 6:55 left in the game to push out to a 77-62 lead. Davis, who fouled out late in the game, scored 10 points, including eight in the second half.
        
“I thought we had fresh legs in the middle of the second half and we used that our advantage,” the Tech coach added. “Shaquilah came in and got some easy lay-ups and that seemed to jump start our team.”
        
The Lady Chargers, who dropped its 18th straight road game dating to the 2008-09 season, wouldn’t go away as three consecutive treys from Andrea Bennett dropped Tech’s lead to 79-71 with 5:03 left in the contest.

After a lay-up by freshman forward Casse Vaughn (North Little Rock, Ark.) pushed the Golden Suns lead to 81-71 with a little less than five minutes left in the game, UAH used a 4-2 run to pull within 83-75 with 3:55 remaining. That would be as close as the Lady Chargers would get as Tech closed the game outscoring UAH, 16-11 to set the final margin.

Santos was one of three Tech players to score 22 points in Thursday’s win as junior forward Katie Horsman (Fairfield Bay, Ark.) tallied a career-high 22 points and added seven rebounds in her first start of the season and sophomore forward Jessica Weatherford (Bonnerdale, Ark.) contributed a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. On the night, Tech’s frontcourt scored 76 of Tech’s 99 points.

In addition to Tech’s four double figure scorers, senior All-American guard Jenny Vining (Marshall, Ark.) added nine points, a career-high nine assists and had four steals, while Vaughn added six points off the bench.

Along with Hammon, UAH got 21 points and seven rebounds from Bennett, who finished 7-for-9 from long distance, while Candace Lee added 15 points, five boards and seven assists and Jordan Beggs chipped in with 11 points off the bench.

It was a long week with finals being completed and we were sloppy at times, but we were able to plays and shots at the end of the game,” said Wilbers.
        
Tech finished the game with a 34-29 edge on the glass and forced 25 turnovers. The Golden Suns committed 21 turnovers in the win, but those 21 miscues led to 26 UAH points.
        
The Golden Suns have little time to savor Thursday’s win as they return to Tucker Coliseum on Friday night for a 5:30 p.m. GSC Crossover contest against North Alabama (5-3). Friday’s game will mark Tech’s final game before its 12-day break for the Christmas holiday.

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