Harding Women’s Basketball Hosts Southern Arkansas on Thursday

Courtesy Harding University Athletics Department

SEARCY – The Harding women’s basketball team looks for their third straight win on Thursday as they host Southern Arkansas in Great American Conference action at 5:30 p.m., at the Rhodes Field House. HU heads into the game with a 15-7 overall record and an 11-5 GAC record.

The Lady Bisons will be wearing pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness. Harding will be selling t-shirts on Thursday with all the proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Harding is coming off back-to-back GAC wins over Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist. The Lady Bisons defeated Henderson State 76-69 in overtime in Searcy last Thursday. Junior forward Kristen Celsor led HU with 23 points and eight rebounds. On Saturday, junior guard Lauren Crenshaw made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Lady Bisons a 45-42 win at Ouachita Baptist.

When HU and Southern Arkansas met earlier this season in Magnolia, the Lady Bisons won 91-44. Kristen Celsor led Harding with 21 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Shana Holmes had 18 points. HU held SAU to shooting 26.3 percent from the field and forced 19 turnovers in the game. Harding leads the series between the two teams 35-20. The Lady Bisons have a 20-7 record against SAU in Searcy. HU has won the last six meetings.

Harding is 9-1 at home this season. Their only loss came against Arkansas Tech 50-43. At home this season the Lady Bisons are outscoring their opponents by 12.5 points and holding their opponents to shooting 34 percent from the field. Kristen Celsor averages 17.2 points at home and Arielle Saunders averages 10.9 rebounds.

Harding has won 12 of their last 15 games with their losses coming against Arkansas Tech, Southern Nazarene and Southwestern Oklahoma State.

HU is led on the season by Kristen Ceslor who averages 14.7 points, which ranks eighth in the GAC. Sophomore guard Shana Holmes averages 12.7 points and Arielle Saunders averages 10.7 points.

Kristen Celsor leads Harding on the boards averaging 8.3 rebounds a game, which ranks fourth in the GAC. Sophomore forward Arielle Saunders ranks fifth in the GAC, averaging 7.9 rebounds and sophomore guard Montana Lewis ranks ninth in the GAC (7.0 rpg).

When Harding has 15 or fewer turnovers in a game, the Lady Bisons are 10-2. Harding has had less than 10 turnovers in a game four times this season. HU went onto win all of those games.

The Lady Bisons rank first in the GAC in scoring defense as they only allow their opponents to score 59.2 points per game. HU ranks second in the GAC in steals averaging 9.0 a game.

In Harding’s 15 wins, the Lady Bisons defense has come up big. HU has held their opponents to shooting below 34.2 percent from the field and forces 17.6 turnovers per game. The Lady Bisons also averages 9.3 steals and 4.4 blocks.

Kristen Celsor needs 67 points to get to 1,000 in her career. Celsor has scored 933 points and is averaging 11.8 points per game in her career.

Southern Arkansas is still looking for its first win of the season as the Lady Muleriders are 0-21 overall and 0-16 in the GAC. SAU is coming off a 95-80 loss at Southern Nazarene last Thursday. Katherine McBride led the Lady Muleriders with a career-high 30 points and six rebounds. It was the second straight game SAU has scored 80 points. Southern Arkansas fell to Southeastern Oklahoma State 89-80 in Magnolia, Ark., on Feb. 9.

Katherine McBride leads SAU on the season averaging 16.1 points, ranking her fourth in the GAC. Tori Nichols ranks sixth in the GAC in rebounds, averages 7.9 a game.

Check Hardingsports.com for links to live audio, live video and live stats.

Tags: , , ,