Although maintaining a six-point lead at the half, the Golden Suns could not withstand the No. 2 seeded Emporia State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Hays, Kan. Arkansas Tech (23-7) fell to Emporia (26- 4) 68-51, as the Golden Suns were outscored 44-21 in the second half to face elimination.
A back-and-fourth beginning to the first half fell in favor of the Golden Suns when a jumper by Fatima Adams gave Tech a 16-15 lead with 11:01 remaining. Fabiana Monte and Jacinda Myers-Sanders added six free throws for a 22- 15 lead with 8:26 left.
Adams later made two free throws and a layup to extend Tech’s lead to 11 with 3:30 left, but the Golden Suns failed to score by the end of the first half, going into halftime with a 30-24 lead.
Emporia scored two quick baskets to start the second half and overcame the Golden Suns 34-32 by the 16:08 mark.Tech pushed within 41-38 with 12:00 remaining, but Emporia remained in control to take a 17-point win. Adams led the Golden Suns with 27 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Myers-Sanders with 10 points. Tech wen 17-of-20 from the free throw line, despite shooting only 30 percent from the field. Tech scored 24 points in the paint , 12 points off turnovers and grabbed 36 rebounds, while it committed 20 fouls and 11 turnovers. Emporia shot nearly 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from the 3-point line, while it made 19-of-24 free throws. Emporia scored 22 points in the pain and 14 points off turnovers, and it grabbed 41 rebounds.