2020 Great American Conference Champions

Hannah Hodge, Oracle Sports Editor

Henderson State made history this past Sunday winning the Great American Conference Championship against the No. 4 seed, Oklahoma Baptist University. 

The Reddies had their best shooting average of the tournament with 52.9% of shots connecting.  

HSU had their best start of a game in the tournament with tremendous energy from senior, forward Mike Fofana with two three-pointers and a lay-up to give a 19-7 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. 

As the momentum of the game increased the shooting jumped to 60%. However, this shooting percentage would fluctuate by 12 points down to scoring only four points. The end of the first half of the game finished with a buzzer-beater lay-up by junior forward, Raekwon Rogers which was assisted by junior guard, Quawn Marshall. 

Henderson had on average of a ten-point lead during the first half of the game. The halftime score ended 25-35, the Reddies up by ten points. 

In a sudden burst of energy, the Bison scored 13 points, stopping HSU from scoring for four minutes straight, with two minutes left in the half. The atmosphere became tense with the score tight, 61-64. 

Then, by perfect ball movement with an assist from junior forward Jeremiah Toney, Fofana breaks the drought of not scoring with a jumper. 

Now having the crazy tension of a championship game with the title on the line, Henderson State gathered up all of the energy they had left to finish the remainder of the game leaving OKBU scoreless and unable to answer to the Reddies. 

Junior guard, Chris Parker capped the final scoring opportunities with two free throws which he has consistently helped the Reddies throughout the tournament. 

The Henderson State Reddies earned the program’s first championship in 17 years.

Leading the scoring board Parker and Fofana finished with 14 points each. Next, senior guard Anthony Lupardus finished with a tournament-high of 12 points. Senior guard, Rel Johnson finished with 11 points. 

The GAC Tournament MVP went to lead scorer, Parker and Johnson and Rogers were named All-Tournament Team. A total of nine Reddies scored to accomplish the win. 

The Reddies now 23-8 have won their first GAC title in men’s basketball, their first league championship overall since 2002-03, and secures a place in the NCAA DII Tournament.

Henderson State advances to to take on the No. 2 seed Southern Nazarene University (24-8) on March 14 at 2:30pm in Maryville, Missouri at the Bearcat Arena. 

 

HSU Sports
2020 GAC Champions Henderson State University 23-8