MONTICELLO – The Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils lost their first home game of the 2011-12 season Thursday at the hands of the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys, 74-73, on a last-second jumper.
Arkansas Tech responded each and every time the Weevils made a run, including in the closing seconds. A pair of Ricardo Hall free throws pulled the Weevils within 70-69, with 2:21 remaining in the game. Missed shots and turnovers began to plague both teams as the pace quickened down the stretch. In fact, neither team scored again until Kori Forge hit a layup with 33 seconds left, off a steal from Sergio Crowe, to give UAM the lead at 71-70.
Tech’s Matt Haney found the first field goal for the Wonder Boys in more than 3 minutes with 14 seconds left to put Tech back on top. Forge came up with the answering layup with 7 seconds on the clock, but with the time ticking down Tech’s Johnie Davis managed to get two layups off, recovering his own rebound and putting it back to give Tech the 74-73 lead with 1 second left.
UAM’s Hail Mary inbounds play came up short, as the ball was forced out of bounds and turned over to Tech, which easily ran out the final second for the win.
The game went back-and-forth from beginning to end with 14 lead changes and six separate ties. Tech (15-4, 7-2 Great American Conference) managed to get its lead as high as seven twice, once in each half, but both times the Weevils (15-6, 5-4 GAC) closed the gap. The first half ended with a deep three-pointer from L.A. Farmer that sent UAM into the break up 37-36.
The Wonder Boys led throughout most of the second half after regaining the lead right out of the break. UAM’s biggest lead of the half came with 6:38 remaining in the game after another Farmer three pointer that put the Weevils up 61-58.
Sergio Crowe led all scorers with 20 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes. Farmer posted 18 points and six rebounds. Forge added 14 points and Ricardo Hall had 10 to round out those in double figures. Tech’s bench scored 31 of their 74 points.
The Weevils will take to the road this Saturday to face Southeastern Oklahoma State in a 4 p.m. matchup in Durant.
Arkansas Tech 77, UAM 76
The Cotton Blossoms once again gave Arkansas Tech all it could handle Thursday night, coming up just short in a thrilling comeback at Steelman Field House.
The No. 13-ranked Golden Suns (14-3, 6-3 GAC) led by 19 with just 7:02 remaining in the game, 69-50, having led the entire night. It would have been easy for the Blossoms (6-13, 2-7 GAC) to succumb to the seemingly inevitable and move on to Saturday, but UAM did not quit.
A Chelsea Johnson layup sparked a 24-6 UAM run over the next 6 minutes. The Blossoms scored on almost every possession they had, missing just two field goals in the span. Alex Hart capped the run with a layup off a steal with 1:08 remaining and was fouled to pull the Blossoms back to within one, 75-74. The last time UAM had been within a point of the lead had been in the first half with Tech up 16-15.
In the final minute, the Blossoms had to foul four times just to get the Suns into the bonus so they could get the ball back. Katie Horsman sank both shots of a one-and-one to put Tech up 77-74 with 10 seconds on the clock. Alex Hart came up big again hitting two of her own 5 seconds later to set the deficit back to one, 77-76, and she almost pulled off the upset as her last second three-pointer rimmed out as time expired.
Hart led the Blossoms with 22 points on the night with six assists and six steals. Catherine Puckett added 13 and Taylor Clark and Chelsea Johnson each had 10 to round out those in double figures.
UAM had 30 points off turnovers in the game, helping to offset a lackluster night at the charity stripe. The Blossoms went 18-26 from the line. The Suns also out-rebounded UAM 41-15 on the night, including 29-11 on the defensive glass.
UAM will return to action this Saturday as they travel to Durant to take on Southeastern Oklahoma State. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.