Harding scored 30 points in the second quarter and held off a furious late run by Arkansas Tech to defeat the Golden Suns 85-77 Thursday in Great American Conference women’s action at the Rhodes-Reaves Field House.
Harding continued its streak of alternating wins and losses in its first nine GAC games. The Lady Bisons improved to 9-5 overall and 5-4 in the GAC. Arkansas Tech had its four-game winning streak in the series snapped and fell to 7-5 overall and 4-4 in conference.
Harding led 64-50 entering the fourth quarter, but Tech used a 7-0 run that started about the four-minute mark and cut Harding’s lead to 76-72 with 2:51 left. Arkansas Tech was within four points three times in the last three minutes but got no closer.
Hannah Collins scored seven of her team-high 23 points in the last two and a half minutes, including four straight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Collins made three 3-pointers and 10 of 12 free throws. It was her fourth 20-point game of the season and she tied her season high with seven assists.
Sage Hawley added 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Aubrey Isbell scored 17 points, and Jacie Evans had 13 points.
Harding’s high-scoring second quarter led to a 48-33 lead at halftime. The Lady Bisons went on an 18-4 run in the quarter that included a spurt of nine straight points. Harding led 22-19 after Isbell hit a jumper at the 8:35 mark. Evans scored six during the run, Lexie Davis and Collins both hit 3s, and Hawley added two free throws to push Harding’s lead to 38-22 with 3:33 left before half.
Both teams shot 33 percent from the field in the first quarter. Harding led 18-17 after one period.
Kaley Shipman led Arkansas Tech with 24 points, and Jayana Sanders had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Harding returns to action Saturday against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. at the W.T. Watson Athletic Center.