ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - Stellar shooting by the Henderson State women's basketball team helped snap a four-game losing streak as the Lady Reddies soared past the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Lady Rangers by a score of 70-56 on Saturday afternoon in the Duke Wells Center.
The Lady Reddies (9-6, 4-5 GAC) fell behind early in the game as the Lady Rangers (4-11, 3-6 GAC) made the game's first two baskets and sprinted out to a quick 4-0 lead. Northwestern Oklahoma would hold a lead over the Lady Reddies until Destiny Smith's layup at the 13:06 mark of the first half gave HSU a 9-8 advantage. From there, the Lady Reddies would maintain a lead as the game went into halftime.
Ahead by eight points at the break, 29-21, the Lady Reddies quickly pushed the lead out 10 points as Jill Temples knocked down a mid-range jumper. Shooting the ball efficiently, the Lady Reddies were able to maintain a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
Northwestern would show some resolve late in the second half as, down by 12 points, they would go on 9-2 run to pull to within five points, 60-55, with 2:25 remaining in the game. That run by the Lady Rangers was answered by the Lady Reddies as consecutive layups by Smith and four made free throws paced an 8-0 run that gave Henderson a comfortable 13-point lead with just 37 seconds remaining. The Lady Reddies would go on to win by that margin as the two teams traded points in the waning seconds of the game.
Smith, who set a career-high just two days ago, established a new career-high in scoring as she poured in 21 points to lead the Lady Reddies. Smith also led the team in rebounding with eight boards. Behind Smith in scoring was Shareka Maner with 12 points. Temples finished with nine points and led the team with five assists. Both Dulincia Keener and Aungelique Sledge scored eight points and Krystal Beachum and Vanessa Pieper added six points each to round out the scoring for the Lady Reddies.
As a team, the Lady Reddies shot over 50% in each half and ended with a 51.9% overall percentage as they knocked down 27-of-52 shots. The Lady Reddies also dominated on the boards as they pulled down 39 rebounds to the Lady Rangers' 21.
The Lady Reddies will now turn their attention to in-town rivals Ouachita Baptist as Henderson is set to take the walk across Highway 7and take on the Lady Tigers in Bill Vinning Arena. The basketball version of the Southern Bancorp Battle of the Ravine is scheduled for next Thursday, January 24th. Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm.
Daniel Gallegos: HSU Media Relations