Golden Suns fall to Northern State in first round of NCAA Tournament

ATU Sports
Paul Smith, Associate Athletic Director

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Senior Cheyenne North stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 11 points, blocking nine shots and dishing out eight assists but the No. 4 seed Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (26-4) season came to an end as they fell to fifth-seeded Northern State (26-5) by a final score of 76-65 in the first round of the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament being played at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. Friday night.


  • Arkansas Tech scored the first points of the game on a jumper by North to claim a 2-0 lead. The Golden Suns forced four turnovers in the opening three minutes to spark a 7-0 run, Tech led 9-2 with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter.
  • Northern State scored four straight point to trim the lead to three points. Jayana Sanders came off the bench for Tech and scored six straight points, draining a three and converting a 3-point play to give Tech a nine-point advantage (15-6).
  • The Wolves chipped into the Suns lead and were able to cut it down to four at 17-13 with 3:30 to go in the first quarter.
  • Tech scored four of the last five points of the quarter to take a 21-14 lead going into the second quarter.
  • North gave the Suns their first double digit lead (28-18) after hitting a contested 3-pointer from the top of the key. Sanders scored a fast break layup to make it a 12-point advantage (30-18) at the 7:45 minute mark.
  • The Golden Suns opened up a 15-point lead, their largest lead of the first half, after Ryann Goodsell hit a jumper. (36-21)
  • Northern State answered with an 8-1 run to cut the lead to nine points (37-29) with 2:44 remaining in the first half.
  • Both teams traded baskets over the final two minutes of the first half, Tech held a nine-point advantage (43-34) going into the break.
  • The Suns forced ten turnovers and North blocked five shots in the first half, while the Wolves held a 20-14 advantage in rebounding.
  • The Wolves used a 7-3 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter to pull to within five (46-41) with 6:38 remaining.
  • Jill Conrad cut the Suns lead to three points after hitting a jumper at the 5:23 minute mark (48-45).
  • Ke’Vonshaye Stackhouse made it a five-point game after driving through the lane and connecting on an off-balance floater to put the score at 52-47 with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Jessi Marti hit Northern State’s first 3-pointer of the second half to trim the Suns lead to two points (50-52) then Conrad hit a layup to knot the game up at 52-52 at the 2:14 minute mark.
  • North answered for Tech, scoring the next four points to give the Suns a 56-52 lead with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Kylie Ladd scored the last points of the quarter, draining a 15-foot jumper to give Tech a four-point advantage (58-54) going into the fourth.
  • After hitting a pair of free throws, Northern State cut the lead to one point with 8:13 remaining in regulation.
  • Northern State took its first lead of the game (63-61) after Miranda Ristau converted on a 3-point play with 5:53 left in the game.
  • The Wolves ended the game on an 11-3 run, claiming a 76-66 win.


  • The Golden Suns shot just 15-percent (3-of-20) from the floor in the fourth quarter, which allowed for Northern State to put an 18-2 run together to come back and defeat Tech.
  • Northern State outshot Tech 45.6 percent to 34.8 percent. The Wolves also out rebounded the Suns 48-32 and went 22-26 from the free throw line while Tech went 13-20.
  • In her final game as a Golden Sun, North finished with 11 points, nine blocks, eight assists and four rebounds.
  • Williams ended her season with a team-high 17 points and grabbed three rebounds. Ladd scored 11 points and Sanders added 12 points.
  • Arkansas Tech ends the season with a 26-4 record and closed it out with its fourth consecutive 20-plus-win season and fourth straight trip to the NCAA Central Region Tournament.

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