Balanced scoring helps A-State

JONESBORO — Balanced scoring by the Arkansas State University men’s basketball team helped lead the Red Wolves past Tennessee-Martin, 72-62, in the 2013-14 season home opener Wednesday night at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Senior forward Kirk Van Slyke’s 16 points was tops for A-State (2-0), which won its home opener for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Van Slyke finished the night going 7-of-11 from the floor to go with five rebounds and four blocked shots in his A-State home debut. Senior guard Melvin Johnson III, who made 4-of-7 three-pointers, tossed in 15 points, sophomore guard Cameron Golden netted 13, and senior guard Brandon Reed added 10 points in the non-conference decision.

A-State was outrebounded by UT-Martin (0-3), 47-36, and forced the Skyhawks into 15 turnovers while committing 13 of its own. Senior forward Kendrick Washington’s 11 rebounds, including nine on the defensive glass, lead all players in the game.

The Red Wolves will now travel west to the Rocky Mountains for a pair of non-conference contests, starting this Saturday (Nov. 16) afternoon against the Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie, Wyo.

Late rally lifts No. 25 Harding

SEARCY — Harding sophomore Andraz Kavas scored 20 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, and hit a key 3-pointer down the stretch to lead the 25th-ranked Bisons to a 70-66 victory over Christian Brothers on Thursday at the Rhodes Field House.

It was the 38th straight victory in a home opener for Harding, who goes on the road Saturday to take on 17th-ranked Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Okla.

Kavas tied the game for the 12th time with a pair of free throws at the 2:38 mark. He then put Harding ahead for good with a 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave the Bisons a 67-64 lead.

Christian Brothers (1-1) scored only two free throws the rest of the way, and Harding senior Hayden Johnson made three free throws in the game’s final 26 seconds to secure the victory.

Kavas made 4-of-7 from the field and 10-of-14 free throws. Weston Jameson added 16 points, and Johnson had 15 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Jacob Gibson made his first career start and tied his career high with 11 points.

Harry Green played 39 minutes and led Christian Brothers with 21 points. Trey Casey made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and Cory McArthy added 12 points.

Harding led 32-29 at halftime, and held off Christian Brothers by shooting 63 percent (12-of-19) in the second half. The score was tied six times and there were six lead changes after the break.

Christian Brothers made nine 3-pointers to Harding’s six, but the Bisons outscored the Bucs 16-7 at the free throw line.

Harding rolls past Christian Brothers

SEARCY – Senior forward Kristen Celsor had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Harding women’s basketball team to a 79-66 win over Christian Brothers on Thursday in non-conference action at the Rhodes Field House.

Four other Lady Bisons (3-0) finished in double figure scoring. Junior guard Montana Lewis had 13 points and nine rebounds. Junior Shana Holmes had 12 points. Junior guard Tabitha Haney and senior guard Deshelle Isaac-Boyce both came off the bench and scored 11 points.

Harding trailed for much of the first 10 minutes of play until Isaac-Boyce hit two free throws to put HU up 18-17 with 9:30 left in the first half.

The Lady Bisons dominated the boards 47-30. HU had a season-high 23 offensive rebounds and turned them into 21 points.

Harding had 13 turnovers in the game and Christian Brothers turned them into 20 points.

The Lady Bisons will be back in action on Nov. 23 as they open Great American Conference action at Southern Nazarene.

Lady Reddies fall to Pittsburg State

Henderson State suffered its first loss of the season as Pittsburg State defeated the Lady Reddies 76-56, Thursday in Pittsburg, Kan.

The Lady Reddies, 1-1 on the season, struggled offensively shooting just 33 percent from the field converting on just 23-of-69 attempts.

Krystal Beachum led Henderson State with 17 points, while Tiara Davis added 14 and Aungelique Sledge, 11.

Dulincia Keener and Ariana Caffery each grabbed eight rebounds for the Lady Reddies.

Pittsburg State (2-2) led most of the game as the Gorillas built as early six-point lead before Henderson State cut the deficit to 23-21 with 5:22 left to play in the first-half with the help of a free throw and layup by Sledge, followed by buckets by Davis and Beachum.

Henderson State returns home to face UAFS on Saturday with tipoff set for 7 p.m. at the Duke Wells Center.


Lady Bisons end regular season with 3-0 win at UAM

MONTICELLO — The Harding volleyball team ended it regular season schedule with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-11 and 25-14) win over Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday in Great American Conference action. The Lady Bisons improved to 25-7 overall and 14-0 in the GAC.

Harding will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GAC Tournament held in Hot Springs, Ark., Nov. 21-23. The Lady Bisons will play Arkansas-Monticello again on Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. Live stats and live video will be offered for all the matches.

With the win, Harding extended is conference winning streak to 30 matches which dates back to the 2011 season. HU broke the previous record of 25 against Southwestern Oklahoma on Oct. 26.

The Lady Bisons had 12 service aces in the match led by senior outside hitter Mollie Arnold who had a career-high nine which is the most by a Harding player since HU joined the NCAA in 1997.

The Lady Bisons were led by Marindia Turner who had 10 kills and three blocks. Junior middle blocker LIv Savage had a match-high five blocks.

Arkansas-Monticello (12-19, 2-12 GAC) was led by Tori Bozzo who had eight kills. Tusalava Kusea led the UAM defense with a match-high 12 digs.

Golden Suns fall 3-2 against Southern Arkansas

MAGNOLIA, Ark. — Despite a 20-kill, 13-dig performance from junior Emily Todd, a 67-assist effort from senior Amber Cerrillos, and a 21-dig effort from sophomore Morgan McKellar the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (22-11, 9-5 GAC) fell 3-2 to the Southern Arkansas Lady Muleriders (17-14, 7-7 GAC) Thursday night in Magnolia.

During the final set, the first point the Golden Suns would have would be a kill by freshman Shannon Helm to narrow Southern Arkansas’ lead 4-1. Southern Arkansas would call a timeout after a kill from Helm narrowed their lead 9-8. The set would be tied up 13-13. After an attack error from Katie Huff, Southern Arkansas would take the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.

Huff would total 15 kills, Sara Motsinger would add 13, and Morgan Hatwig would have 11. Cerrillos had 10 digs.

Arkansas Tech will open up tournament play on Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. against Southern Arkansas in Hot Springs, Ark.

Lady Lions outlast Dustdevils

FORT SMITH — After losing its first two Heartland Conference matches last weekend, the UAFS volleyball team returned to its old winning ways on Thursday night with a four-set win against Texas A&M International at the Stubblefield Center.

UAFS won the match 25-20, 25-20, 23-25,25-21 to sweep the regular-season series with TAMIU.

It was the seventh consecutive home win for the Lady Lions.

The Lady Lions (20-8, 15-2) posted their third consecutive 20-win season and their 14th overall 20-win season in the program’s 15-year history. UAFS’ only non 20-win season was in 2010, when the Lady Lions finished 19-13 during their second season as a provisional NCAA Division II member.

It was the second consecutive loss for the TAMIU (3-24, 2-15), whose only wins are against Texas A&M-Kingsville and Oklahoma Panhandle State (twice).

Junior outside hitter Michelle Walker led UAFS with 16 kills, while senior middle hitter Jordan Erz had 14 and freshman outside hitter Katarina Krstonosic had 10.

Freshman setter Maja Krstonosic had a team-high 30 assists, while freshman libero Emily Tripp had a team-high 35 digs. Erz served two of UAFS’ three aces.

UAFS will host St. Mary’s (14-12, 10-6) in Saturday’s regular-season finale, which also will be Senior Day.

UAFS already has clinched its second consecutive regular-season conference championship and will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which it will host on Nov. 22-23 at the Stubblefield Center.

The Lady Lions are the two-time defending conference tournament champions. The conference tournament champion received an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament.