Harding Women's Basketball Drains 11 3s, Advances to GAC Tournament Final

Harding Women's Basketball Drains 11 3s, Advances to GAC Tournament Final

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Harding opponents struggle at times to defend the Lady Bisons in the low post, but Saturday it was Harding's long-range shooting that helped the team pull away from East Central 67-48 in the semifinals of the Great American Tournament at Bruin Fieldhouse.

Harding tied a season high with 11 3-pointers and shot 50 percent from beyond the arc to blow open a game that the Lady Bisons led only 34-28 at halftime.

With the victory, Harding advanced to the GAC Tournament final and will take on the winner of No. 2 seed Arkansas Tech and No. 3 seed Southwestern Oklahoma on Sunday at 1 p.m. Harding will play in its fourth championship game in the tournament's six seasons.

Harding was especially good from 3-point range in the third quarter, connecting on 4-of-7 and going a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. The Lady Bisons outscored the Tigers 20-7 in the quarter and limited East Central to only 2-of-14 shooting.

Senior A'ndi Haney was a perfect 4-of-4 on 3-pointers and led Harding with 14 points and six assists despite battling early foul trouble and playing only 23 minutes. Sophomore Caroline Hogue had 11 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Peyton Padgett made two 3-pointers and scored 10.

Jalyn Jackson led East Central with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Harding, on pace to break the school record for rebounds per game, held a 45-26 advantage against East Central. The Lady Bisons had 12 offensive rebounds and outscored the Tigers 12-4 on second-chance points.

Harding had outscored East Central 33-12 at the free-throw line in its two previous victories over the Tigers this season. The Lady Bisons continued that trend in the semifinal game, shooting 12-of-14 from the line. East Central shot only six free throws, making four.

East Central shot 32.8 percent for the game, marking the 19th straight game that a Harding opponent shot below 40 percent. Harding shot 43 percent overall.