The Saline Courier Weekend

Reddies use dominant second half to overcome Southern Nazarene, 86-72

- By Courtlin Haygarth

ARKADELPHI­A -- After a sluggish first half yielded a one-point lead at the break, Henderson State used a 50-37 second half to claim a 14-point, 86-72 victory over Southern Nazarene Thursday night, snapping the Crimson Storm’s five-game winning streak in the series.

The Reddies’ secondhalf dominance was due to their rebounding and offense. After being out-rebounded 26-10 in the opening 20 minutes, including giving up 14 offensive rebounds, HSU won the rebounding battle 19-11 in the second stanza while only allowing the Crimson Storm three offensive boards the rest of the way.

Offensivel­y, Henderson shot 67.7 percent (21-of31) from the floor in the second frame compared to just 41.4 percent (12-of-29) in the first half. Clarence King was exceptiona­l on the offensive attack, scoring a season-high 26 points on 13 shot attempts and five free-throws off the bench while also tallying seven steals - the most steals in a single game for an HSU player in the GAC era.

Malek Davis played the facilitato­r role on the evening, logging eight of HSU’S 15 assists, finishing his outing with nine points and two steals. Overall, the red-and-gray forced 22 Crimson Storm turnovers.

Scoring did not come easily for either side early on as the score stood in favor of Southern Nazarene, 11-10, with nearly 10 minutes of game time gone by. Three minutes later, at the undereight media timeout, SNU grew a 20-17 lead to a 26-17 advantage before HSU head coach Jimmy Elgas was forced to burn a timeout.

The pause in play proved useful as HSU proceeded to score the next seven points before closing the half strong to take a 36-35 edge to the locker room. The late firsthalf surge brought on the momentum the Reddies would need to open the second 20-minute stint.

After scoring just 10 minutes in nearly 10 minutes to open the game, the tables were turned as HSU managed 10 points in the first three minutes of second-half action.

The offensive onslaught allowed HSU to open a 12-point lead at the 14:40 mark, 53-41.

The lead grew to as much as 17 before the Reddies maintained the double-digit advantage for the final 11:19 of regulation before posting its third GAC victory of the season and first of the new year, 86-72.

Next up for Henderson

St. (4-6, 3-2 GAC) is Oklahoma Baptist, which comes to the Duke Wells Center Saturday at 3 p.m. after the Bison got a win across the street against Ouachita Baptist Thursday, 87-72.

 ?? Special to The Saline Courier ?? Henderson State won a 86-72 victory over Southern Nazarene Thursday.
Special to The Saline Courier Henderson State won a 86-72 victory over Southern Nazarene Thursday.

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