Boards not enough as Harding falls to Arkansas Tech

Harding Athletics
Scott Goode

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Despite grabbing more than 50 rebounds for the fifth time in its last six games, Harding could not overcome 24% shooting from the field and fell 67-56 to Arkansas Tech Monday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Great American Conference Eastern Division.

The loss snapped a five-game Harding winning streak and dropped the Lady Bisons to 5-3 overall and in the GAC. Arkansas Tech remained undefeated at 8-0 overall and 7-0 in conference and ran its home winning streak to eight games dating to last season.

“I thought we batted pretty well for most of the night,” Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. “We hung around but when we needed to make a big play, we just came up empty.”

Harding pulled within six points twice in the fourth quarter, but Tech scored each time and pulled away.

The Lady Bisons had 55 total rebounds, including 25 offensive rebounds. Harding outscored Tech 18-0 on second-chance points, but Tech shot 45% from the field to hold off the Lady Bisons.

Carissa Caples, playing her 100th game at Harding, scored 10 points. Katelyn Burtch also added a career-high 10 points. Sage Hawley had eight points and led the team with 14 rebounds and six assists.

Tech’s Nikki Metcalfe was key for Arkansas Tech on both ends. She led the team with 16 points and tied a Tech record with 11 blocked shots.

Neither team shot well in the third quarter. Tech outscored Harding 11-10. The Lady Bisons were 3 of 19 (15.8%) from the field but made 4 of 6 free throws.

Tech led by 10 early in the second quarter, but Harding got key 3-pointers from Lexie Davis, Kylee Coulter and Kennedy Cooper in the quarter to stay close. Hawley made a turnaround jumper with 37 seconds left to cut Tech’s halftime lead to 35-29. Harding shot 40% in the quarter but only 26.5% in the half. Tech shot 50% from the field (14 of 28), the 3-point line (4 of 8) and the free-throw line (3 of 6).

Arkansas Tech scored the first 10 points before Hannah Collins drained a 3-pointer from the right baseline. Harding missed its first six shots and made only one of its first 10. The Lady Bisons shot 3 of 19 in the quarter, but two of them were 3-pointers. Harding trailed 16-5 but scored the last six points of the quarter.

The Lady Bisons return to the Rhodes-Reaves Field House Thursday to take on Southern Arkansas.

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