HU Men’s Basketball Holds Off Ouachita Baptist, Bisons Win Fifth Straight

Courtesy HU Athletics Department

SEARCY – Senior Bradley Spencer made four of Harding’s 11 3-pointers and led the Bisons to an 83-78 victory over Ouachita Baptist in Great American Conference action Saturday at Rhodes Field House.

Harding improved to 12-3 overall and moved into a three-way for first place in the GAC with a 5-2 mark. It was the ninth straight home victory for the Bisons. Ouachita Baptist fell to 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the GAC.

Ouachita Baptist’s Nigel Ramsey made a layup with 16:37 left in the second half to give the Tigers a 51-41 lead, their largest of the game. Ouachita Baptist went the next 11 minutes and made only one field goal. 

Harding took its first lead of the second half on a Matt Walters 3-pointer with 9:11 remaining. Spencer made a 3-pointer on Harding’s next possession, and the Bisons led the rest of the way. The 10-point deficit was the largest Harding has recovered from to win a game this season.

Ouachita Baptist closed to within three points three times in the last minute, but Harding hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

The teams combined for 37 fouls in the second half alone and shot 52 free throws after halftime. Harding made 22-of-32 (69 percent), and Ouachita Baptist hit 22-of-36 (61 percent).

The Bisons averaged a GAC-best 8.3 3-pointers per game and more than 10 3-pointers for the sixth time this season. The Tigers made eight 3-pointers, six of them by Austin Mitchell, who led Ouachita Baptist with 22 points.

Spencer connected on 4-of-7 from the field and made 7-of-10 free throws. Senior Zach Roddenberry added 18 points and a team-high six rebounds.

Senior Adam Sterrenberg scored 13 points, his fourth straight game in double figures, and Walters scored a career-high 12 points.

Ouachita Baptist shot 63 percent in the first half, made 6-of-8 3-pointers, and led 39-36 at halftime as Colt Fason made his first 3-pointer of the season at the buzzer. The Tigers cooled off in the second half and shot 55 percent for the game.

Harding shot 49 percent from the field, the highest percentage of the season by a Ouachita Baptist opponent.

The Bisons will be back in action Thursday against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia. Tip-off from the W.T. Watson Athletic Center is at 7:30 p.m.

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