Harding Men's Basketball meets East Central in Ada on Thursday - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Harding Men's Basketball meets East Central in Ada on Thursday

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From Harding University

Harding Game Notes

Harding men's basketball will make its first road trip of the season this weekend and will meet East Central in Great American Conference play on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Ada, Okla. The Bisons will continue the trip Saturday with a contest at 4 p.m. against Southeastern Oklahoma State in Durant.

The games will be broadcast live on KVHU 95.3-FM in Searcy with Billy Morgan and Scott Goode on the call. Links to live audio and live stats will be available on HardingSports.com.

Harding has opened the season 6-0 with all six victories coming at home and is receiving votes in the latest NABC Division II Poll. The Bisons have never started a season with seven straight wins.

In 2006-07, Harding won its opener then lost to Incarnate Word before winning its next five. When the season was over, Incarnate Word had to forfeit the Harding game due to its use of an ineligible player giving Harding a 7-0 record in its first seven games.

Harding (6-0, 1-0) is coming off an 80-67 victory over Southern Nazarene in GAC play on Saturday in Searcy. Bison senior Zach Roddenberry made 11-of-15 field goals and 10-of-12 free throws and scored 32 points. It capped off a three-game stretch where Roddenberry averaged 21.0 points and 9.7 rebounds and earned Roddenberry his second GAC Player of the Week honor.

Roddenberry leads the GAC in both scoring (21.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg) and ranks fifth in Division II in field goal percentage at 72.3 percent.

East Central enters the game 2-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Tigers have lost their last five games including conference games at Ouachita Baptist (83-58) and Henderson State (75-64).

Junior guard Colby Carr, a transfer from Coffeyville Community College, is the Tigers' leading scorer at 11.0 points per game. Junior forward Jason Williams leads the Tigers and ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage at 65.2 percent.

One statistical key to Thursday's game could be Harding's proficiency from 3-point range. The Bisons are first in the GAC with 9.0 3-pointers per game and second in 3-point field goal percentage (38.6). East Central has held its opponents to 32.3 percent from 3-point range, good for fifth in the conference.

Fouls and free throws have hampered East Central's efforts this season. The Tigers are at the bottom of the conference in free throw percentage at just 54.7 percent and have committed a GAC-leading 25.3 fouls per game.

Harding and East Central are meeting for the 13th time with the series tied 6-6. East Central has won three of the five meetings in Ada, but Harding won both meetings last season. The Bisons won 78-71 in Ada and 83-61 in Searcy.

Roddenberry averaged 17.0 points in those games, connecting on 14-of-20 field goals. Junior Hayden Johnson scored 22 points at East Central and averaged 14.5 points against the Tigers.

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