#6 Harding Lady Bison extend winning streak to 17-0

MONTICELLO, AR (HardingSports.com) - The sixth-ranked Harding women's basketball team went on a 10-0 run in the final minutes of the second half to seal a 73-64 Great American Conference win over Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday. The Lady Bisons improved to 17-0 on the season and 9-0 in the GAC.

The win gave Harding its seventh-straight road victory which broke the previous record of six which was done twice during the 1996-97 season.

With 7:07 left to play in the game, Arkansas-Monticello tied the game at 55 on a free throw by sophomore guard Tamia Grady. Harding then went on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 65-55 lead with 2:02 left. The Lady Bisons held the Cotton Blossoms to 0-of-5 shooting during the run. Harding knocked down 6-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

"I was really proud of the way we finished," Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. "They were tougher than us through a few stretches, but we really battled at the end." He went onto say,

"It all came down to getting some defensive stops and rebounding."

Harding was led by junior guard Shana Holmes who had 17 points, hitting three 3-pointers. Senior forward Kristen Celsor captured her 14th double-double of her career with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard A'ndrea Haney had 11 points, hitting 7-of-8 free throws.

Junior forward Arielle Saunders also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She also scored her 700th career point in the game. Saunders and Celsor (1,339) are the only two active Lady Bisons to have scored over 700 points. Saunders also picked up her 200th career offensive rebound as four of her rebounds came on the offensive end.

In the first half, Harding led 16-10 at the 11:53 mark and went on a 15-4 run to take a 31-14 lead (its largest of the half) with 7:55 left. Arkansas-Monticello answered with a 17-4 run to close the gap to 35-31 with 0:56 left. The Lady Bisons then scored the final two buckets of the half to lead 39-31.

Arkansas-Monticello falls to 5-9 overall and 1-7 in the GAC.

The Cotton Blossoms were led by sophomore forward Jordan Goforth who had 25 points, scoring nine field goals. She also led Arkansas-Monticello on the boards with nine.

Harding had 12 steals in the game and turned them into 18 points.

The Lady Bisons will continue its three game road trip on Thursday as they travel to Russellville, Ark., to face Arkansas Tech at 5:30 p.m.

"This will be the toughest road stretch we will go on during the season," Kirby said.