Rockin’ and rollin’

Reddies upset No. 14 ATU at home, first loss of season for Golden Suns

Reddies+hand+No.+14+Arkansas+Tech+their+first+loss+of+the+season.

Hunter Lively (Reddie Athletics)

Reddies hand No. 14 Arkansas Tech their first loss of the season.

Haley Spicer, Sports Reporter

After a week off due to the snow storm across the state, Reddies basketball finally returned to competition Saturday against 14th-ranked Arkansas Tech (10-0, 9-0 GAC) at the Duke-Wells Center. Henderson (4-5, 4-4 GAC) came into the game on a high note after earning a road win at Harding last week, their first since the onset of the GAC era.

HSU junior guard Maci Mains started hot with five straight points for the Reddies, while sophomore forward Ashley Farrar had her own four-point spurt off the bench. Tech applied their full-court defense on the Reddies, but the Golden Suns paid the price as foul trouble on Arkansas Tech gave Henderson ample free-throw opportunities. HSU had eight free throw attempts in the first quarter compared to just three by Arkansas Tech.

The Reddies overcame an ATU lead, tying the game at 20 at the end of the first ten minutes. Arkansas Tech went 0-5 from three-point range in the first, but got hot in the second quarter to jump to a big 32-25 lead. HSU countered ATU’s offense with their own 8-2 run to get the lead down to one.

Mains ended the first half on fire for the Reddies with a massive 17 points. HSU outrebounded Tech by six at the half and they knocked down six three-pointers to take a five point lead at the break, 47-42.

Slow starts by both teams out of the intermission allowed Henderson State to maintain their lead. Fouls began piling up on Henderson as Snowden and Whaley both earned three personals. Despite sloppy plays by both teams, HSU outscored Tech by a single point in the third quarter for a 66-60 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

Henderson entered the double bonus at the 6:46 minute mark of the fourth quarter. Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch by Snowden, Farrar, Whaley and Sonni Martin secured HSU the win, 90-86. Tech suffers their first loss of the year, while HSU gets an upset over the top team in the conference.

HSU head coach Jill Thomas was asked about how she ranks this win for her team and in her career here at Henderson. “This might go down as number one. This year has been hard… It’s been a year of learning… We can keep getting better and better if we stay focused.”

Henderson wraps up the regular season next week at home against Ouachita on Monday, Harding on Thursday, and a road trip to Monticello to face UAM next Saturday.