David Salley, Director of Athletic Communications
ARKADELPHIA — Pink Jones and Blu Jones combined to score 49 points as Henderson State stayed perfect in Great American Conference play with an 84-77 win over Harding on Saturday. The win leaves the Reddies as one of two remaining unbeaten teams tied for first place in the GAC.
Pink Jones scored a season-high 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting, while Blu Jones scored 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Karrington Whaley and Brittany Branum held Harding’s Kellie Lampo to just 5-for-16 shooting, while Hailey Estes notched her second-straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Henderson (7-1, 3-0) returns to action next Saturday, Dec. 15, when HSU hosts Arkansas-Monticello at 1 p.m.
Henderson jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the first three minutes after 3-pointers from Whaley and Estes, and although the Lady Bisons crept within two points on four different occasions, the Reddies had an 18-14 lead after the first 10 minutes behind nine points from Estes.
Harding started quickly in the second and eventually took a 22-21 lead after two free throws. Henderson responded to its first deficit with an 11-2 run behind baskets from Blu Jones, Pink Jones, Maci Mains, and Branum which gave the Reddies a 32-24 lead mid-way through the second quarter. HU cut the Reddies lead to four, 37-33, but Henderson ended the half on an 11-3 run, as a 3-pointer from Blu Jones rattled home with five seconds remaining to give HSU 48-36 lead at the break.
Henderson State refused to let the Lady Bisons back into the game following the intermission, as the Reddies extended their lead out to 18 points halfway through the third quarter. Harding finished the quarter on a modest 10-4 run to trim the deficit to 12 heading into the final frame with HSU up 66-54.
An old-fashioned three-point play from Pink Jones gave the Reddies all the momentum and a 16-point lead with seven minutes to go, but the Lady Bisons responded with a 9-0 run to make the score 72-65 with four minutes to play. After a Henderson timeout, Whaley scored four-straight points and gave Henderson a double-digit lead, 76-65. Harding cut the Reddies’ lead down to six, 77-71, with 44 seconds to play, but six free throws from Pink Jones helped Henderson ice it and secure an 84-77 victory.