Back in action

Women’s hoops returns to play, facing Harding in first game back

Donovan Lee, Sports Editor

Following their road matchup versus Harding on Jan. 14, HSU women’s hoops took a step back for five games after contact tracing within the program. The Reddies’ hiatus was scheduled to end before their Jan. 30 game against the Lady Bisons.

The Reddies (1-3 GAC) hit the court for their Saturday afternoon duel with Harding (4-2 GAC). A slow start in the opening minutes of the game was erased quickly by Henderson, sparking a 20-6 run in the first quarter to take a 22-8 lead, despite making just three of ten shots from three-point range.

To Henderson’s dismay, Harding matched their energy and picked up the pace in the second quarter. The visiting team from Searcy went from being down as much as 17, to bringing themselves within three points of HSU by halftime, 40-37.

The stars continued to align for the Lady Bisons in the second half, as their uphill battle proved successful. What began as a great game for the Reddies became tainted by a buildup of fouls down the stretch. Five HSU players were in foul trouble late in the second half, including four of the five HSU starters and junior guard Maci Mains, who came off the bench in that game.

Fourth quarter action for Henderson stemmed from sophomore guard Ashley Farrar, scoring 12 points in the final period of regulation and ended her night with 32 points, 11 rebounds. Her efforts on the offensive end were not enough to stave off the Harding comeback. The team from Searcy went on a 21-6 run in the final 7:34 of regulation to tie the game at 81, leaving them to battle it out in overtime.

Statistically, the Reddies lost the turnover battle (23-15), had fewer steals than the Lady Bisons (16-10). Fast break points were dominated by Harding as well (23 to HSU’s 10). The two major stats that impacted the game for Henderson were fouls and fast break points.

HSU accumulated 25 fouls by the game’s end, leading to Harding’s opportunities to close in on the lead with free throws down the stretch. Harding also scored a staggering 45 points off the bench, while Henderson only recorded nine from their subs.

Henderson had no answer for Harding’s late-game intensity, with Mains and redshirt freshman guard Sonni Martin fouling out in the game and the Reddies being outscored 17-11 in the extra period. Harding defeated HSU, 98-92.