A 22-0 run late in the first half and early in the second sent Northwestern Oklahoma State University to an 86-70 Great American Conference men’s basketball victory over Arkansas Tech University at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday.
Arkansas Tech (10-9 overall, 5-8 GAC) scored the first seven points of the game, made nine of its first 10 field goal tries and maintained the lead for the first 19 minutes of the game.
A pair of Brandon Green free throws with 59 seconds left in the first half allowed Northwestern Oklahoma State to forge a 37-37 tie at the intermission. It was the end of a 9-0 spurt by the Rangers to close the first half.
NWOSU (6-11, 6-7) carried that momentum over to the second half, scoring the first 13 points of that period to claim a 50-37 edge with 15:15 remaining.
The Wonder Boys clawed back within 59-53 at the 9:05 mark of the second half, but four straight Ranger points stopped the comeback bid. They maintained at least an eight-point lead the rest of the way.
Arkansas Tech committed a season-high 21 turnovers, leading to a 28-6 edge in points off turnovers for Northwestern Oklahoma State.
Adrian Motley led five Rangers in double figures in scoring with 18 points. T’aries Taylor notched 17 points, Austin Klug and Brandon Green had 12 points apiece and Deiondray Martin poured in 11 points for NWOSU.
Tyler Corley scored a career-high 26 points for the Wonder Boys. He was 9-of-11 from the field and 7-of-11 from the free throw line.
Tech’s Andrew Guillory added 13 points and seven rebounds.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Wonder Boys in their series with Northwestern Oklahoma State. The Rangers beat Tech in Russellville for the first time ever and earned their first win in the series since Nov. 27, 1971.
The Wonder Boys will visit Oklahoma Baptist University for a 7:30 p.m. GAC contest in Shawnee, Okla., on Thursday, Feb. 4. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live coverage.