The Arkansas Tech University Wonder Boys led the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers from start to finish Thursday night, capturing an 82-76 road victory at Bill Vining Arena in Arkadelphia.
The Wonder Boys (17-10, 11-10 GAC) had four players contribute 17 or more points which propelled them to the victory. The Tigers (12-14, 10-11 GAC) matched its season average of 15 turnovers which led to their fall. Ouachita’s Kendarious Smith led all players with 20 points. Smith tried to keep the Tigers in the game as he found ways to score near the basket, beyond the arc and from the free-throw line. The Tigers were active on the boards as they out rebounded the Wonder Boys 39-28, but it didn’t add up to a victory.
The Wonder Boys took the lead 2-0, 52 seconds into the game, and never relinquished their control. The Tigers fell down 8-2 at the 17:18 mark in the first half and the game of catch up began. Down by just five at the half, 37-32, the Tigers were in fine position to make a run in the second half. The Wonder Boys never let the Tigers capture the momentum. With crisp offensive performances by four of its starters, Arkansas Tech completed their wire-to-wire victory with ease.
Ouachita Baptist prides themselves on the defensive side of the ball, but Arkansas Tech was able to put up their customary numbers. This was the 19th game this season that the Wonder Boys scored 80 or more points.
“I’m just really disappointed in our defensive effort tonight. They are a really explosive team and they did a lot of things offensively we weren’t able to cover,” Ouachita Head Coach Dennis Nutt said.
Alex Brown and Freddy Lee combined to shoot 10-16 from the 3-point arc for Arkansas Tech. Ouachita Baptist made 10 3-pointers as a team.
With the loss, the Ouachita Baptist Tigers dropped seventh place in GAC play. The Tigers are at home Saturday to take on the Southern Arkansas Muleriders on Senior Day.
By Ben Swanger, guest writer