HU Bisons Down Arkansas Tech at Packed Rhodes Field

Courtesy Harding University Athletics Department

SEARCY – Harding won its 11th straight home game to open the 2012-13 season Thursday with a 72-64 victory over Arkansas Tech in front of an overflow crowd of 2,952 at the Rhodes Field House.

The victory gave Harding (15-3, 8-2) a two-game lead over three other teams atop the Great American Conference standings. It was the Bisons’ eighth straight victory, tying the second-longest streak in program history, and was Harding’s first victory over Arkansas Tech (9-7, 6-4) in a regular season game since 2009.

Senior Bradley Spencer led Harding with 15 points, making 6-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch. Willie Kirkland scored 18 points to pace Arkansas Tech but shot only 6-of-18 from the field.

Both teams shot under 40 percent in the first half, and Harding went into halftime with a 28-26 lead.

Harding maintained its lead throughout the second half and took its largest lead of the game on an Adam Sterrenberg layup with 3:31 left that gave Harding a 62-51 advantage.

Arkansas Tech answered with a 9-0 run and cut the Harding lead to two points on a pair of Bobby Hatchett free throws with 1:45 left. Senior Zach Roddenberry, who had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, made two free throws on the Bisons’ next possession, and Harding led by three or more points the rest of the way.

Harding made 22-of-26 free throws (84.6 percent), including 18-of-22 in the second half.

Harding junior Hayden Johnson made all four of his free throws and scored 13 points. Freshman Andraz Kavas scored all 12 of his points in the second half while Roddenberry was out with foul trouble.

The Bisons had 19 assists on 22 field goals, led by four from Spencer.

Harding will play its final game of a three-game home stand Saturday at 4 p.m. against East Central. The Bisons then play three straight on the road beginning Jan. 31 against Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla.

Harding men’s basketball postgame interview after the Arkansas Tech game on 1/24/13


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