Senior Lakin Preisner hit two free throws with just 0.2 showing on the clock to give the East Central University women’s basketball team a pulsating 61-59 win over Arkansas Tech Saturday at the Kerr Activities Center.

ECU improved to 9-2 overall and 4-2 in the Great American Conference, while Arkansas Tech left town at 5-7 and 2-4.

Madison Rehl hit a layup off an assist by Tia Williams with 1:42 to play to put ECU ahead 58-51 before the Golden Suns battled back.

After ATU cut its deficit to two (58-56) with just over 30 seconds to play on a long 3-pointer by Jayana Sanders, Rehl split a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining and the Golden Suns took a timeout to set up a potential game-tying 3-point shot.

Jacie Higgins was fouled early in the possession and split a pair of free throws, and a jump ball gave the ball back to Tech with 15.7 seconds to play.

Higgins drained a pull-up jumper from the charity stripe with 5.2 seconds to play to tie the game at 59-59 and set up Preisner’s heroics.

ATU led 31-22 in the second quarter before the Tigers scored the final five points to get within 31-27 at halftime.

East Central trailed 41-39 after three quarters, but a 3-pointer by Madison Nickens with 8:10 to play knotted the score at 44-44.

Maci Hanson paced a balanced ECU effort with 11 points, while Williams and Rehl chipped in 10 points each.

Preisner, ECU’s leading scorer, was limited to eight points but yanked down a career-best 15 rebounds. Stefany Lourenco scored nine points and had six of ECU’s 11 steals in the game.

The Tigers forced 21 turnovers and only committed nine.

ECU travels to Southern Arkansas at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Tigers use big second half to blow past Wonder Boys

The East Central men’s basketball team hit 20-of-26 field goals (76.9 percent) in the second half to streak past Arkansas Tech 95-78 Saturday in a Great American Conference home game.

The Tigers improved to 7-4 overall and 4-2 in GAC play, while the Wonder Boys fell to 2-7 and 0-6.

East Central led just 38-37 at halftime and trailed 48-45 after a layup by Will Adler at the 16:27 mark of the second half.

The Tigers then used a 37-17 surge and built an 82-65 lead after a 3-pointer by Tylor Arnold with 4:30 left.

ECU sank 7-of-11 3-point field goals in the second half, including three by Arnold.

Camron Talley finished with a game-high 25 points after scoring just two in the first half. He also surpassed 1,000 career points during the contest. The junior is the 19th Tiger to reach that milestone.

Da’Rion King finished with 21 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and four assists for ECU. Arnold also scored 21 points and had six rebounds and five assists. Gerron Jackson reached double digits with 10 points, while Jalan Brown filled up the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, five blocked shots and three steals.

RJ Glasper scored 21 points to lead the Wonder Boys.

East Central is at Southern Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.