#8 Harding Lady Bison open homestand with a win

SEARCY (HardingSports.com) - The eighth-ranked Harding women's basketball team defeated Southern Nazarene 94-57 on Thursday in Great American Conference action at the Rhodes Field House. The Lady Bisons improved to 19-1 overall and 11-1 in the GAC.

Harding extended its home winning streak to 12 games which dates back to last season. It's the second longest winning streak in school history. Harding won 16 straight from 95-96.

"This is fun playing back at home and they had a good time tonight," Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. "We did some good things defensively early. We stayed focused and right the whole game.We got some easy look because of the post touches we got."

The Lady Bisons were led by junior guard Montana Lewis who had 13 points. Junior forward Arielle Saunders had 11 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Seniors Kristen Celsor and Lauren Crenshaw both had 10 points in only 15 minutes of action.

The game was close in the first 10 minutes of action. Harding broke the game open over the next five minutes as they went on a 13-0 run to lead 34-19. The Lady Bisons continued to build on their lead in the last five minutes as they took a 24 point lead into halftime, 51-27. It was the most points Harding has scored in the first half this season.

The Lady Bisons led by as much as 39 in the second half. Harding hit six of their 10 3-pointers in the half.

Harding had a season-high 25 assists led by the Haney sisters, A'ndrea and Tabitha, who each had six.

Southern Nazarene fell to 8-9 overall and 5-6 in the GAC. The Crimson Storm was led by junior guard Callie Cox who had 23 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Harding's career blocks lead junior Arielle Saunders had four in the game to give her 129 in her career. Kristen Celsor had one block which put her in sole possession of second place in Harding history with a total of 104.

Southern Nazarene outrebounded Harding 41-38. Harding held the Crimson Storm to shooting on 29.9 percent from the field with only 20 made field goals.

The Lady Bisons will have this Saturday off before hosting Northwestern Oklahoma in their second of a three game home stand next Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at the Rhodes Field House.