Women’s Basketball Hosts Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday

Courtesy HU Athletics Department

SEARCY – The Harding women’s basketball team looks for their eighth straight win on Saturday as they host Arkansas-Monticello at 5:30 p.m., at the Rhodes Field House. The Lady Bisons head into the game with a 10-4 overall record and a 6-2 GAC record. 

Harding hasn’t won eight-straight games since the 2008-09 season when HU started the season 12-0. The Lady Bisons won seven straight last season and in the 2009-10 season. 

Harding is coming off a 91-44 win at Southern Arkansas on Thursday. It was the most points by the Lady Bisons since 2009 when HU defeated West Alabama 99-54. It was also the most points in a road game since 2009 when Harding fell at Ouachita Baptist 108-104. The Lady Bisons were led by junior forward Kristen Celsor who had 21 points, hitting 6-of-7 from the field in only 24 minutes of action. It was the fourth time this season Celsor has scored 20 or more points. She also led HU on the boards with nine. 

Harding is led on the season by Kristen Celsor and Shana Holmes who both average 14.3 points per game which ranks tied for sixth in the GAC. Sophomore forward Arielle Saunders averages 10.9 points.

During the HU winning streak, the Lady Bisons are holding their opponents to shooting 31.9 percent from the field. Harding has held their opponent to shooting below 31 percent five of the seven games. The Lady Bisons have also outrebounded their opponents 306 (43.7 rpg) to 260 (37.1 rpg).

Harding has jumped on their opponents early this season. HU has led at halftime ten times and gone on to win nine times. In the first half in those nine games HU is shooting 44 percent from the field, outscoring their opponents by 97 points (346-249) and is averaging 20.1 rebounds. Harding is also 5-0 in the GAC when leading at halftime.

Arielle Saunders leads HU on the boards this season averaging 8.1 a game which ranks fourth in the GAC. Kristen Celsor ranks sixth in the GAC (7.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Montana Lewis ranks eighth in the GAC (7.1 rpg). Harding is the only team in the GAC that has two or more players that rank in the top-10 in rebounds.

Harding is 6-0 at home this season. The Lady Bisons are shooting 41.2 percent from the field and are outscoring their opponents by 14.3 points. HU is also averaging 45.0 rebounds and have outrebounded their opponents by 10.8 rebounds. Harding also averages 4.0 blocks. 

The Lady Bisons rank first in the GAC in scoring defense as they hold their opponents to scoring 59.1 points per game.

Arkansas-Monticello heads into the game with a 2-11 overall record and a 0-8 GAC record. The Cotton Blossoms have lost their last 11 games after starting the season 2-0. UAM is 0-7 on the road.

The Cotton Blossoms are led by freshman guard Jordan Goforth and freshman forward Donlicia James who both average 10.7 points per game. James also leads UAM on the boards, averaging 6.7 a game.

Arkansas-Monticello leads the series between the two teams 30-24. Harding leads 14-13 in Searcy. The two teams split last season as each team won at home. In Searcy HU won 67-44 before losing at Monticello 73-62.

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