Tigers’ Thornton breaks scoring record in GAC opener

By Brian Ramsey
OBU Sports Information

RUSSELLVILLE — Ouachita Baptist University women’s basketball freshman Aspen Thornton scored an NCAA-era school-record 43 points on Thursday night in a 90-84 road loss to Arkansas Tech.

It was the first 40-point performance for Ouachita since Breanna Harris scored 41 against Harding in 2016. Thornton finished the night 14-for-25 from the field, 2-for-4 on three-pointers, and 13-for-15 on free throws. The Hot Springs native also added four rebounds and four steals.

The Tigers (1-3, 0-1 GAC) controlled most of the opening period, jumping out to a five-point lead in the first minute and later leading by as many as six with a three-pointer from Lauren Wright to put her team up 12-6 at the 5:26 mark. Thornton converted on a three-point play with 1:12 remaining in the first to give the Tigers a 23-22 lead heading into the second.

Tech (4-1, 1-0 GAC) outscored Ouachita 23-13 in the second period, gaining its first double-digit advantage with 6:22 remaining before halftime. The Tigers were limited to only two made field goals in the second period, allowing the Golden Suns to build a nine-point lead of 45-36 at the break.

Ouachita trimmed its deficit down to six midway through the third period following a 9-2 run. However, Tech outscored Ouachita 13-4 in the final five minutes of the second period to hold a 15-point advantage of 64-49 heading into the fourth.

Using a scoring surge from Thornton in the fourth, the Tigers rallied again to trim the deficit down to as low as five points with two minutes in regulation. Thornton scored 22 of her final 43 points in the fourth period.

In addition to Thornton’s record-breaking performance, Makayla Miller and Lauren Wright each reached double-digits in scoring with 14 and 11, respectively.