#6 Harding Lady Bison beat Arkansas Tech to move to 18-0
SEARCY (HardingSports.com) - Senior forward Kristen Celsor scored 24 points to lead the sixth ranked Harding women's basketball team to an 87-52 win at Arkansas Tech on Thursday in Great American Conference action. The Lady Bisons improved to 18-0 overall and 10-0 in the GAC.
It's the second straight year, Harding has won 10 conference games. The Lady Bisons were 14-6 in the GAC last season. It is the only two times Harding has won 10 conference games since joining the NCAA in 1997.
Arkansas Tech suffered its worst home loss in program history and fell to 8-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play. Harding is now 2-1 in Russellville over the last three years.
"Coach Wilburs does a great job of preparing his teams and they have some young girls that are going to get better," Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. "It was a good win. We don't put a lot of thought into records, but if you get a win here you have to be happy with it."
Celsor made her 500th career field goal in the game as she went 10-of-14 from the field. She also made two 3-pointers. Junior forward Arielle Saunders captured her 21st career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bisons had 11 steals led by junior guard Shana Holmes who had four. Holmes also finished with 13 points, hitting 4-of-9 field goals.
Harding broke the game wide open in first 10 minutes of the game. The Lady Bisons went on a 16-4 run as they held Arkansas Tech to 2-of-7 from the field and forced four turnovers. Harding kept building on their lead as they finished the last 8:26 of the first half on a 22-1 run as they held the Golden Suns to shooting 0-of-14 from the field and forced five more turnovers. Harding led at the half 47-19.
The Lady Bisons shot 65 percent from the field in the first half making 17-of-26 and four 3-pointers.
"Defensively, Arielle was just a presence inside," Kirby said. "She made them shoot it into her hands a few times and that gets in your head."
Harding forced 16 Arkansas Tech turnovers in the game.
"We executed well and outran them down the floor several times and got layups," Kirby said.
Harding dominated the paint outscoring Arkansas Tech 40-20.
Arkansas Tech was led by junior forward Jacinda Myers-Sanders who had 14 points.
Harding held the Golden Suns to shooting 3-of-19 from behind the 3-point line.
The Lady Bisons will wrap up their three game road trip on Saturday as they travel to Ada, Okla., to face East Central at 2 p.m.