The Arka Tech

Wonder Boys drop conference game to Ouachita

LAURA BEAN/THE ARKA TECH: DeChriston McKinney reaches for a rebound during a recent game at Tucker Coliseum.

Arkansas Tech (9-12, 5-8 GAC) got behind on the scoreboard early and was never able to overcome the deficit in Saturday’s 71-57 loss to Great American Conference opponent Ouachita Baptist (14-4, 10-3 GAC) in Arkadelphia.

Senior guard Clarence Willard led the team in the loss with 16 points and seven boards, and senior forward Darrick Little scored 10 coming off the bench.

The Tigers opened up the game with a 10-1 run, nearly all of the points coming on drives in the lane resulting in layups. Tech then answered by putting together a 12-5 run, highlighted by Willard’s dunk and a pair of threes from Little and senior guard Tyler Friedel, which brought the score to 15-13 and the Wonder Boys within two with 10:36 left in the half.

A fast break dunk from Buchanan quickly started a spree of back-and-forth layups and jumpers that the Tigers got the better end of and which extended the OBU lead to 31-22 at halftime.

A pair of OBU jumpers matched by a pair of Tech layups started scoring in the second half. But McCleary of OBU would hit three 3-pointers over the next three minutes that would cushion the Tiger lead by 20 points.

Senior guard Mike Balogun then hit a 3-pointer of his own. A layup from Willard, a slam dunk from senior center Gary Gaskins and a handful of free throws closed the gap to 11. But superior shooting down the stretch locked up the win for the Tigers.

Tech was outshot from the field (34 percent-43.6 percent), the 3-point line (19 percent-30.8 percent) and from the free-throw line (77.3 percent-86.4 percent). Tech was outrebounded 35-30.

The Wonder Boys travel to play Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.