VOLLEYBALL

A-State defeats UALR to open SBC tourney

TROY, Ala. — The seventh seeded Arkansas State volleyball squad opened up the 2013 Sun Belt Conference tournament with a 3-2 (12-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 15-7) win over in-state rival and second seed UALR (20-15) Thursday at Trojan Arena in Troy, Ala.

Sadie Clark led A-State (15-19) with 15 kills, while Reis and Sullivan recorded double-digit kills with 12 each. Mallory Warrington dished out 50 assists and also recorded 12 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Defensively, the Red Wolves were led by Megan Baska’s 21 digs and Kelsey Reis’s three blocks. Shelby Crncic registered three of A-State’s seven service aces on the afternoon to lead the team.

For the match, UALR’s Carolee Dillard had seven blocks while Sonja Milanovic closed out the season with a double-double 19 kills and a team best 13 digs. Edina Begic, who already holds the single-season record for kills and the SBC Offensive Player of the Year, had 15 kills for the match to run her total to 634 spikes for the year.

The Red Wolves will take on the third seed Texas State Friday at Trojan Arena.

Golden Suns sweep SAU in GAC opener

HOT SPRINGS – Freshman Morgan Hatwig led all players with 11 kills and a .588 hitting percentage, while junior Emily Todd added 10 kills, and senior Amber Cerrillos dished out 40 assists as the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (23-11) swept the Southern Arkansas Lady Muleriders (17-15) in the opening round of the Great American Conference Volleyball Championship on Thursday at the Summit Arena.

The second-seeded Golden Suns advance to the GAC semifinals, where they will face third-seeded East Central in a 3:30 p.m. matchup on Friday.

Morgan McKellar led Tech with 17 digs, while Katie Huff added four blocks. Tech held a .284 to .220 advantage in hitting percentage, while racking up nine service aces, as Sierra Nighswonger had five and both Cerrillos and Todd added two.

Lady Bisons defeat UAM

HOT SPRINGS The Harding volleyball team defeated Arkansas-Monticello 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-20) on Thursday in the first round of the Great American Conference Tournament at Summit Arena. The Lady Bisons advance to the semifinals and will play the winner of the Ouachita Baptist-Southwestern Oklahoma contest.

It was Harding’s ninth straight win and the second straight win against Arkansas-Monticello as the Lady Bisons improved to 26-7 overall. It was also the fourth straight win by Harding in the GAC Tournament dating back to last season.

Harding was led by Marindia Turner who had 13 kills. Junior setter Taryn Eubank captured a double-double with 36 assists and 10 digs. Copeland led the Lady Bisons defense with 14 digs and Arnold had 13.

Arkansas-Monticello ends their season with a 12-20 record. The Cotton Blossoms were led by Tori Bozzo who had six kills.

It was the first time Harding has faced the Cotton Blossoms at a neutral site and in the conference tournament.

ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATION

HSU names new athletic director

ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State President Glen Jones introduced Shawn Jones as the university’s new director of athletics beginning in January. The announcement was made at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Jones comes to Henderson from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., where he has served 13 years in the athletics department. Most recently, Jones served as the senior associate athletic director for external operations.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Central Missouri in 1997 and a master’s degree in physical education/exercise and sport science with a specialization in athletic and sports business administration in 2011.

At Central Missouri, Jones was responsible for management and oversight of athletic external operations including the athletic annual fund, trademark licensing program, and corporate sponsorships. He also directed marketing and promotions, media, public relations, broadcasting, and special events for the 17-sport NCAA Division II athletic department that is a member of the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

BASKETBALL

Lady Lions fall to Hilltoppers

FORT SMITH — Freshman Sydney Franklin scored a career-high 16 points and freshman Justyne Huber added 12 points for UAFS, but that wasn’t enough as St. Edward’s rallied for a 64-60 win Thursday night in the Heartland Conference opener in Austin, Texas.

It was the first game of a three-day, two-game road swing through the Lone Star State for UAFS (0-5, 0-1), which will play McMurry University at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Franklin and Huber were the only players to score in double-figures for the Lady Lions, who led 26-25 at halftime. UAFS shot 37 percent from the field (21 for 57) – it was 7-for-20 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 65 percent from the free-throw line (11 for 17).

UAFS out-rebounded St. Edward’s (5-0, 1-0) by six rebounds (53-47). Sophomore guard Candice Followwell led UAFS with nine rebounds.

Madison Backus (Mountainburg) added seven points for UAFS.

Golden Suns grab first league win

BETHANY, OKLA. — Anissa Pounds had 21 points and went 5-of-9 from three-point land, Jacinda Myers-Sanders scored 16 points, and Caroline Eubanks added eight points with 13 rebounds as the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (4-0, 1-0 GAC) earned their first conference win of the season over the Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm (2-2, 0-1 GAC) 72-64 Thursday in Bethany, Okla.

Eubanks led all players with seven rebounds.

The Golden Suns will return to action on Sunday to play Central Missouri in Russellville.

Bulldogs cruise past Bears

CONWAY — The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs jumped out to an early double-digit lead and cruised to a 94-57 victory over the University of Central Arkansas Bears on Wednesday night at the Farris Center.

The Bulldogs (2-1) took advantage of early turnovers by the Bears (1-2) and led by as much as 18 points midway through the first half. They settled for a 47-19 advantage at halftime, while shooting 50 percent and forcing 13 UCA turnovers. The Bears shot just 7 of 26 (26.9 percent) from the field and were 1 of 7 from three-point range.

Senior guard DeShone McClure led the way with 19 points — with a pair of three-pointers — but also had a team-high seven turnovers. Freshman Jalen Jackson chipped in 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

The Bears will hit the road for a Sunday afternoon matchup with Arkansas State in Jonesboro. UCA is back home hosting Troy on Nov. 26.