Third time’s a charm

Maci Mains’s elite scoring helps get the job done in win over SAU

Haley Spicer, Sports Reporter

Less than a week after facing one of their divisional foes, Henderson State received a circumstantial opportunity to right their wrongs against the team they played not even an entire week earlier. On this occasion, Southern Arkansas traveled to Arkadelphia to face off once more with HSU in what would be their third meeting of the season.

Their Feb. 1 game was added to the schedule on Jan. 27. Although the game was considered a non-conference competition, both teams wanted to improve their records for when seeding conversations rolled around when the GAC tournament approaches.

Early on, the Reddies were cold on the offensive end as they found themselves facing a deficit within the first five minutes, leading to a timeout being called by head coach Jill Thomas. SAU started the game hot, going 4/4 from three-point range.

Both teams had a sequence of sloppy plays resulting in turnovers and fouls. Henderson State sophomore forward Ashley Farrar found herself battling foul trouble most of the night. SAU was able to keep the lead during most of the duration of the game because of second chance points off of offensive rebounds.

The only efficient source of scoring for the Reddies was at the free throw line, due to being in the double bonus from SAU’s accumulation of fouls. Cold shooting by the Reddies kept them trailing in the first half. The largest lead grew to nine in the first half.

Henderson State’s offense continued, and their efforts paid off, getting the lead down to a single point on several occasions. Free throws became critical for the Reddies to stay in the game.

An assist from Mains to sophomore forward Tamia Templeton for an easy two points allowed HSU to take an 78-76 lead in the final minutes of the game. SAU stayed on the boards down the stretch, scoring second chance points off of a missed three with 18.4 seconds left to tie the game.

Maci Mains drew a foul with 0.2 seconds left in the game and had a chance to secure the win for Henderson at the charity stripe. Mains nailed both shots to get the win, 80-78, and finished with 19 points in the game. Templeton had a career-high game with 20 points.

Henderson will face neighboring rival Ouachita Baptist on Feb. 8.