• Dennis McCaslin

ATU Golden Suns up to nineteenth in latest NCAA Division II rankings

The Arkansas Tech University women's basketball team is reaping the rewards of its productive 2017-18 season start as the Golden Suns climbed two spots into 19th place in the D2SIDA NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Media National Week 2 Poll, which was released Tuesday.

Arkansas Tech, which is currently 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Great American Conference (GAC) this season, received 112 points in D2SIDA's Week 2 Poll after totaling a 21st-place 79 points in the D2SIDA Week 1 Media Poll (Nov. 21).

The weekly poll is sponsored by NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors of America (D2SIDA) and is presently in its fourth year of existence.

Regionally, Tech is ranked third for the second consecutive week in the latest (Nov. 27) NCAA Division II's Central Region with 41 points. Pittsburg State (59 pts.) and Central Oklahoma (48 pts.) occupy the top two placings. The Golden Suns were tabbed ninth in the 2017-18 Preseason NCAA Division II Media Central Region Poll (Oct. 31).

The regional poll is released every Monday, followed by the national poll every Tuesday. Each region has six representatives that comprise the regional poll. The national poll has 16 voters – 2 from each region.

The Central Region consists of teams from the GAC, Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association Conference, and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Arkansas Tech, which is directed by 11th-year head coach Dave Wilber, features the nation's 10th-best scoring offense to date as the Golden Suns are scoring at a conference-leading 85.0 points per game clip. Individually, freshmen guards Jayana Sanders (13.3 ppg.) and Ke'Vonshaye Stackhouse (12.8 ppg.) lead five Tech players with double-figure scoring averages this season. Junior guard Kylie Ladd (11.5 ppg.) along with freshman guard Jacie Higgins (11.3), and senior forward Cheyenne North (11.0 ppg.) are also presently averaging double-digit points.

Tech returns to GAC play this week with a pair of home contests at Tucker Coliseum. The Golden Suns square off against nationally-ranked Southwestern Oklahoma State tonight before wrapping up their home stand Saturday (Dec. 2) versus Northwestern Oklahoma State in a 1 p.m. tilt.