RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — No. 24 Arkansas Tech rode the hot first half play of senior guard Johnie Davis to post a 78-69 victory Tuesday against MidAmerica Christian in non-conference action.
Davis tallied 20 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, including hitting a three-pointer from 27 feet at the buzzer to give the Wonder Boys a 44-32 lead at the half.
With the victory, Tech improved to 6-1 on the season and ran its home non-conference win streak to seven consecutive games dating back to last season.
MACU (4-4 on the season) outscored Tech, 37-34 in the second half and outshot the Wonder Boys, 49 percent to 42 percent from the field.
Tech wasn’t able to shake the Evangels until a late second half run pushed Tech’s lead into double digits.
The Wonder Boys came out sluggish in the early going of Tuesday’s game as MACU led for the first eight minutes of the game until Tech grabbed a 17-15 lead on a lay-up by junior guard Chase White with 11:24 left in the first half. White’s basket sparked a 19-10 run that pushed the lead to 36-25 following two free throws by senior guard Matt Haney with 2:55 left in the half.
MACU pulled within 36-28 on a 3-pointer by Cameron Langster, before a dunk by freshman forward Marshawn Arnold and a lay-up by Davis gave the Wonder Boys a 41-28 lead with 1:17 remaining.
The Evangels would get within nine following a trey from Brandon Williams, before Davis’ 27-foot 3-pointer right before the buzzer gave Tech its 12-point lead at the half.
In the second half, MACU embarked a 13-5 run capped by a lay-up from Charlie Shorter to pull within 49-45 with 14:16 left in the game. The Evangels would get as close as three points (56-53) following two free throws by Langster.
The Wonder Boys, though, used a 15-8 run capped by lay-up from Davis to push out to a 71-61 advantage with 3:16 remaining.
A trey from Williams pulled MACU within 71-65 with 2:57 left, before Tech used a 7-0 run capped by a free throw from junior guard Jared Williamson to take a 78-65 lead with 90 seconds left in the game. MACU scored the game’s final four points to set the final score.
The 28 points by Davis was his fifth 20 point game of the season and 13th of his career. He also added six rebounds, two steals and two assists on the night. In addition to Davis, junior center Will Paul added 12 points and six boards. Williamson had 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds in the win.
Arnold played one of his best games of his young career scoring nine points, grabbing five rebounds and got a career-high three steals in his first start.
The Evangels were led by Williams, who tallied 19 points in the loss. In addition to Williams, Langster added a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards and Shorter added 11 points.
Tech finished the night with a 39-35 edge on the glass and forced 21 turnovers that led to 19 points. Tech had 12 turnovers on the night, including just three in the first half.