Harding freshman Tony Cochran scored 22 points in
his debut, and senior Zach Roddenberry added 18 as the
Bisons defeated Central Baptist 92-71 on Monday in the season opener at the
Rhodes Field House.
It was Harding's 37th consecutive victory in home
openers dating to the 1976-77 season. Bison head coach Jeff Morgan has won all 20 of his
Cochran, who made 299 3-pointers during his career at St.
John Vianney High School in St. Louis, made five 3-pointers in his first games
for the Bisons.
Cochran entered the game off the bench with Harding
leading by only three points at 14-11 and 11:50 left before halftime. Central
Baptist scored five straight points to take a 16-14 lead.
He connected on three straight 3-pointers, and freshman
forward Andras Kavas followed with another one. Cochran continued his hot streak
with a jumper from 16 feet and ended the rally with his fourth 3-pointer to give
Harding a 31-21 lead with 5:55 left in the first half.
The Bisons led by
more than 10 points the rest of the way.
Harding led 46-31 at halftime
and by as many as 23 in the second half.
Cochran made another 3-pointer
in the second half. He was 7-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point
range. His 22 points came in only 17 minutes on the floor.
Baptist (1-4), an NAIA school located in Conway, Ark., struggled from the field.
The Mustangs shot only 34 percent but went 34-of-46 (69.6 percent) from the free
Roddenberry made 6-of-10 shots and scored 14 of his points in
the second half. Junior Hayden Johnson scored 13 points,
and senior Bradley Spencer had 12 points and
led the team with both nine rebounds and five assists.
Harding shot 43
percent from the field and made 10 3-pointers. The Bisons were 24-of-30 (80
percent) at the free throw line.
Central Baptist's Xavier Lindsey scored
11 of his team-leading 17 points at the free throw line. Spencer Caraway added
The game was the first of six straight at Rhodes Field House to open
the season for the Bisons. The home stand continues Saturday at 5 p.m. against
NCAA Division II foe St. Edward's.