Golden Suns reach No. 19 in national polls

RUSSELLVILLE — After a second-place finish in this week’s UCO Kickingbird Classic, the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns golf team sits as high as No. 19 in this week’s national polls.

The Golden Suns dropped three spots from No. 16 to No. 19 in the Golf World/WGCA Coaches’ Poll released yesterday, which did not take into consideration this weekend’s finish. Meanwhile, the Golden Suns jumped from 23rd to 22nd in the Golfstat rankings announced late Wednesday.

Tech has finished in the top three in six of seven events thus far this season, and will compete in three more events before traveling to Hot Springs for the Great American Conference Championship to be played April 13-15 at the Hot Springs Country Club.

Tech’s next competition will be played March 23-24 at the Missouri Western Spring Invitational in St. Joseph, Mo.

Marquez ties for sixth after Round 1

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Harding junior Brittany Marquez is tied for sixth place of 36 golfers after the first round of the Southwest Minnesota State University Spring Invitational that is being played on the LPGA International Hills Legends Course.

Marquez shot 12-over 84 and is only four strokes back of the leader, Minnesota State’s Kenya Sethasomepobe.

Harding’s team is in fifth place of six teams in the competition. The Lady Bisons shot 366. Ferris State leads at 337.

Lady Bison freshman Charles Ann Freeman is t-22nd (92) with senior Lani Schwartz (95) and freshman Allyson Springer (95) tied for 25th. Loren Cheatham is 35th at 106.


Hendrix defeats Defiance

CONWAY — The Hendrix College women’s lacrosse team won their second straight game with a 16-3 victory over Defiance College at Warrior Field on Thursday night.

The Warriors (4-5) outshot the Yellow Jackets (1-3) 27-10 overall and 23-7 on goal. The Orange & Black also held a 38-25 ground ball advantage and went 10-of-14 on clears while DC was 7-of-27.

The game was tied at 2-2 with 20:27 left in the first half before Hendrix scored the final five goals of the period, taking a 7-2 lead at halftime. Defiance scored 1:05 into the second half to make it 7-3, but the Warriors scored nine unanswered to close out the game.

Freshman midfielder Kate Davis tied her season-best with eight goals to go with six ground balls and five draw controls. The Allen, Texas, native entered the game tied for first in the nation in goals scored this year.

Freshman keeper Rebecca Alexander had three saves in the first half, while sophomore Dynica Greer recorded one in the second.

Hendrix will host the University of Arkansas club team on Sunday in an exhibition game at 1 p.m.



Toupal earns region honor

FORT SMITH — UAFS men’s basketball player Jake Toupal has been selected as member of the Daktronics Second Team All-South Central Region Team for his performance this past regular season.

The senior guard from Broken Arrow, Okla., was the only Heartland Conference player to receive All-Region honors. The teams are voted on NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors Association.

Toupal, who was name First Team All-Heartland Conference and Conference Player of the Year, is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game this season and leads the team in steals.

He helped the Lions to a second consecutive conference title and their first berth in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The No. 6 seed Lions will play the No. 3 seed Midwestern State Mustangs at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the first round of the South Central Region Tournament at Metro State University’s Auraria Events Center in Denver, Colo.

A-State’s Van Slyke picks up NABC all-district honor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Senior Kirk Van Slyke of Arkansas State University is reaping the benefits of a productive season by being named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 24 First Team in an announcement made late Wednesday (March 12) by the national organization.

Van Slyke, who was one of 252 student-athletes from 25 districts to receive such recognition, is now eliglble for NABC Coaches’ Division I All-­America honors. The six-member first and second teams were selected and voted on by league member coaches of the NABC.

A forward, Van Slyke is presently averaging a team second-best 14.9 points (447 pts.) and a squad second-most 5.8 rebounds (175 rebs.) per contest as a starter in all 30 games this season.

Van Slyke, who hails from The Woodland, Texas, ranks in the league’s top 15 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and three-point field goal percentage. Nationally, Van Slyke presently is 58th among the NCAA-I statistical leaders in field goal percentage (52.5) and is 116th in free-throw percentage (82.6) through games of March 9.

Second-half run pushes UALR past Troy

NEW ORLEANS — UALR (15-16) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Tournament with a 74-61 victory over Troy (11-20) Thursday evening at Lakefront Arena. The tournament’s No. 5 seed, UALR went on a 16-0 run while holding No. 8 Troy scoreless for an 8:36 stretch in the second half that turned a tie game into a runaway victory for the Trojans.

UALR will now play No. 4 seed Arkansas State today (Friday) at 6 p.m. The two teams split their season series, with the home team winning both meetings.

Trailing 44-39, Troy used a 5-0 run to tie the game at 44-all with 13:29 to play. That would be the last point Troy would score until there was just 4:55 remaining in the game, as UALR ran off 16 unanswered over the same stretch to build its largest lead at 60-44 with 5:53 to play.

Sophomore Josh Hagins started the run with a 3-pointer, then junior Gus Leeper and senior Leroy Isler connected on buckets inside to make it a seven-point game with 10:23 to go. Hagins hit another triple at the 9:47 mark to stretch the lead to 10, and a layup by sophomore James White was followed by four straight from junior Ben Dillard to make it 60-44 with 5:53 left to play.

Hagins’ 15 points led four players in double figures for the Trojans. White added 14 while junior DeVonte Smith and Dillard added 11 each. Hagins added eight rebounds and six assists. Smith totaled eight assists against just one turnover in 38 minutes.


Harding’s Celsor earns Player of Year regional honor

ST.CHARLES, Mo. — Harding University senior Kristen Celsor was named the Most Outstanding Player to headline the 2013-14 Daktronics NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Central All-Region Team.

Celsor, this year’s Great American Conference Player of the Year as well as a two-time Capital One Academic All-American.


UAM names Shipp as offensive coordinator

MONTICELLO — Former Arkansas Tech assistant coach Kyle Shipp has been hired as the offensive coordinator for the University of Arkansas at Monticello football team.

Shipp takes his first coordinator position after serving the previous three seasons as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater and fellow Great American Conference charter member Arkansas Tech.

While at Arkansas Tech, Shipp helped the Wonder Boy offense average 30 points and 400 yards of total offense per game during the 2012 season that featured current Montreal Alouettes quarterback Tanner Marsh, and his kickoff return team of 2011 led the NCAA Division II in returns for touchdowns. He also coached a pair of all-conference receivers during the past three seasons inRussellville under coaches Steve Mullins and Raymond Monica.

Prior to returning to Arkansas Tech in 2011, Shipp served two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas State under Steve Roberts. With the Red Wolves, Shipp helped coach an offense that set nine school records during the 2010 season, and aided the team to a No. 43 national rank and No. 2 Sun Belt Conference rank in total offense (4,841 yards). That season, he worked under then offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze as A-State installed the spread no-huddle offense seen today with Freeze at Ole Miss.