at Southeastern Okla.
3/3/2021 | 5:30 p.m.
SEARCY – Harding scored 17 straight points over a six-minute stretch that sandwiched halftime to pull away from Arkansas-Monticello and defeat the Blossoms 90-61 Monday night in Great American Conference Tournament action at the Rhodes-Reaves Field House.
With the win, Harding, the No. 3 seed from the East Division will advance to meet Southeastern Oklahoma, the No. 2 seed from the West Division, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Durant.
Harding improved to 7-7 overall with win, snapping a four-game skid. Arkansas-Monticello, who at one point this season had 10 consecutive games canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, finished the season 1-7.
Harding’s 13-0 run over nearly four minutes in the second quarter blew open a close game and gave the Lady Bisons a 43-28 lead at halftime. The Lady Bisons then opened the second half with the first four points to push the run to 17.
“We outran them and got a bunch of easy baskets there in the second quarter,” Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. “Also, I thought out defense was really good. Our game plan was to clog the lane and not give them anything easy.”
Harding used a late 9-0 run in the third quarter to extend its lead to 25 points. The Lady Bisons led 64-41 after three quarters and maintained at least a 20-point lead throughout.
Freshman Lexie Davis led Harding in scoring with a career-high 20 points. She had eight points during the Lady Bisons’ second quarter run and made four of Harding’s seven 3-pointers in the game.
“When someone is playing with confidence like that it really opens up some things,” Kirby said of Davis. “They can’t double and triple team the post when someone’s hitting shots like that.”
Carissa Caples added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Kennedy Cooper had her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Hannah Collins had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Sage Hawley scored Harding’s first six points and finished with 10.
Mackenzie Tillman led Arkansas-Monticello with 16 points. The Blossoms shot 26 of 31 at the free-throw line.