Lady Bisons Basketball Team Travels to Southern Arkansas on Thursday

Courtesy HU Athletics Department

SEARCY – The Harding women’s basketball team looks to extend their winning streak to seven games on Thursday as they travel to Magnolia, Ark., to face Southern Arkansas at 5:30 p.m., in Great American Conference action. The Lady Bisons head into the game with a 9-4 overall record and a 5-2 GAC record. 

Harding is coming off a 66-58 win over Ouachita Baptist last Saturday at the Rhodes Field House. The Lady Bisons gave OBU their first conference loss of the season. Sophomore guard Shana Holmes led HU with 16 points, making 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Arielle Saunder captured her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. Senior guard Deshelle Isaac-Boyce came off the bench and tied a season high with 12 points. 

During the HU winning streak, the Lady Bisons are holding their opponents to shooting 32.8 percent from the field. Harding has held their opponent to shooting below 31 percent four of the six games. The Lady Bisons have also outrebounded their opponents 258 (43.0 rpg) to 222 (37.0 rpg).

Sophomore guard Shana Holmes leads HU in scoring and ranks seventh in the GAC averaging 14.0 points. Junior forward Kristen Celsor ranks eighth in the GAC, averaging 13.8 points. Sophomore forward Arielle Saunders averages 11.3 points.

Arielle Saunders leads HU on the boards this season averaging 8.3 a game which ranks her fourth in the GAC. Kristen Celsor ranks seventh in the GAC (7.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Montana Lewis ranks eighth in the GAC (7.2 rpg). Harding is the only team in the GAC that has two or more players that rank in the top-10 in rebounds. 

Harding has jumped on their opponents early this season. HU has led at halftime nine times and gone on to win eight times. In the first half in those nine games HU is shooting 43 percent from the field, outscoring their opponents by 76 points (301-225) and is averaging 20.0 rebounds. Harding is also 4-0 in the GAC when leading at halftime.

The Lady Bisons rank first in the GAC in scoring defense as they hold their opponents to scoring 60.2 points per game. 

Harding is trying to even its road record on Thursday. The Lady Bisons are 3-4 this season on road. HU has won their last two games on the road – at Henderson State (57-56) and at Christian Brothers (57-53). Harding’s last road loss came at Southeastern Oklahoma State on Dec. 8. HU fell 72-60.

Southern Arkansas is still looking for their first win of the season. SAU is 0-12 overall and 0-7 in the GAC. The Lady Muleriders are coming off an 86-66 loss against Southern Nazarene last Saturday. Sophomore guard Katherine McBride led SAU with 22 points and freshman center Tori Nichols had 16 points and eight rebounds.

Southern Arkansas’ opponents have outscored SAU by 21.6 points and outrebounding SAU by 7.4 rebounds.

Katherine McBride leads Southern Arkansas and ranks sixth in the GAC in scoring, averaging 14.3 points a game.

Harding leads the series between the two teams 34-20. HU is also 14-3 in Magnolia. The Lady Bisons have won the last five meetings. SAU’s last win came in 2010 in Magnolia. The Lady Muleriders won 59-58.

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