RUSSELLVILLE — Henderson State’s defense showed up in a big way on Saturday, as the Reddies held Arkansas Tech to just 24.2% shooting in its own building and pulled away in the second half for their first win of the season, 70-44.
Tech was 16-of-62 from the floor in the game and shot just 7-for-35 in the second half. The Wonder Boys’ 44 points were the fewest allowed by HSU since it limited Southern Arkansas to just 41 on Nov. 21, 2019.
Four Reddies scored in double figures in the win. Quawn Marshall led the way with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Malik Riddle had 14 and freshman Josh Mason added 10. Jeremiah Toney had a team-high nine rebounds and four assists, and Tomislav Miholjcic scored eight points in the final minutes on 4-for-4 shooting.
Trailing 11-9 in the game’s early going, Henderson (1-1) put together a big run and out-scored Tech 21-6 over the next seven minutes of action to seize a 30-17 lead with 6:15 left in the half. Marshall scored eight points during the run for the Reddies, while Mason canned two 3-pointers for the first points of his collegiate career.
After starting the game hot from the field, the lid went onto the basket in the final six minutes for HSU, as it managed just two more points — both from the free throw line — in the period. The Reddies’ defense, however, was dominant to end the half and held ATU to just 1-for-11 shooting in the final six minutes. The stifling pressure offset the cold-spell offensively and helped Henderson take a 32-23 lead into the break. The Wonder Boys shot just 29% from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
The cold shooting continued for both teams to start the second half, as the Reddies began the period 2-for-9 and Tech a slightly better 4-for-12, which trimmed the HSU lead down to 38-33 with 14 minutes remaining. With its lead trimmed to five, Henderson responded with four free throws from Mason, a dunk from Riddle, a transition layup from Marshall and a putback from Yuri Swinford to go on a 10-0 spurt and take its largest lead, 48-33, at the 11-minute mark.
The Reddies’ defense took over from there. Arkansas Tech, after scoring at the 10:48 mark to trim the lead to 48-35, did not score again for over seven game minutes, and at one point missed 20-straight shots from the floor. HSU, meanwhile, slowly took advantage and used a 12-0 run in that period of time to pull in front by 25 points, 60-35. With the game in hand, Henderson cruised in the final minutes, as every player on the team saw action in a 70-44 win.
Henderson shot 47.4% from the field in the victory and out-rebounded the Wonder Boys 45-43. The Reddies capitalized in a big way on ATU mistakes in the game and out-scored Tech 25-4 in points off turnovers.
HSU returns to action on Monday at 7 p.m. when it crosses the street to take on rival Ouachita Baptist in the first of four matchups between the two teams this season.