GREAT AMERICAN CONFERENCE - NEWS RELEASE
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – Arkansas Tech scored a 76-74 win against East Central in the opening Great American Conference Women’s Basketball Championship quarterfinal contest on Thursday from the Bruin Fieldhouse.
The Golden Suns (14-15) won the first-ever double overtime contest at the GAC Women’s Basketball Championship as they dodged chances by Tigers (21-8) at the end of regulation and both overtime sessions. The Tech defense forced a turnover with the game tied at 62 as time ran down the fourth quarter, survived a missed 3-pointer by Tia Williams in the first overtime and grabbed the critical rebound off a missed free throw with one second left in the game to ice the victory.
ECU trailed throughout the contest but took a 68-66 lead with 48 seconds in the first overtime on a 3-pointer by Williams. Jayana Sanders grabbed a rebound off of her own miss and converted two free throws to even the contest. She finished with a double-double, 14 points and 11 rebounds.
In the second overtime, Tech scored the first five points and never trailed in the period. The Golden Suns won despite losing three starters to fouls. GAC Newcomer of the Year Hannah Villines scored a team-high 18 points. Lyrik Williams added 12 points off the bench and Ryann Goodsell contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Six Golden Suns pulled down at least five rebounds as they outrebounded the Tigers by nine, 58-49.
Williams scored 18 points and went 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc for ECU. Lakin Preisner tallied 17 points and a season-high 16 rebounds to post her 10th double-double of the season. Sam Schwab grabbed 10 rebounds as she registered her third double-digit rebounding effort of the season.
With the win, the Golden Suns advance to the GAC semifinals for the seventh-straight year. The will face the winner of Friday’s contest between Southern Nazarene and Southeastern Oklahoma State at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.