From Harding University
For the last 11 seasons, the Harding men's basketball team and Christian Brothers played two of the marquee games each season in the Gulf South Conference. Oh, how things have changed.
Tuesday, Harding will meet Christian Brothers at Canale Arena in Memphis at 7:30 p.m. in the Bisons' season opener. With Harding now in the Great American Conference and Christian Brothers still in the Gulf South Conference, the two teams will still meet twice this season albeit in non-conference games.
Harding is coming off one of the best seasons in program history. The Bisons finished 25-5 overall and 12-2 in GSC West play. Harding then won the GSC Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament as the No. 2 seed, falling to Stillman in the opening round.
The Bisons return two starters off last season's team—junior guard Bradley Spencer and senior forward Kirk Porter, who has missed most of the preseason with a foot injury. Gone are the squad's three leading scorers—Kevin Brown, Stephen Blake and Sam Brown.
The Bisons played only once in exhibition action, defeating NCAA Division I Southeast Missouri State 68-63 on Nov. 7. Sophomore Hayden Johnson led Harding with 22 points. Spencer and junior college transfer DeAntra Scott had 11 points each, and junior Zach Roddenberry had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Harding was selected second behind Arkansas Tech in the GAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Christian Brothers is playing its second game of the season after opening with a 77-63 home win over NAIA Williams Baptist on Saturday in Memphis. Scott Dennis led the team with 15 points and 10 rebounds and was one of four Bucs with 10 or more points.
Christian Brothers was picked third of eight teams in the Gulf South Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Harding has won four of the last six meetings between the teams, including the last three straight. The Bisons have also won the last three meetings in Memphis.