ADA, Okla. (Harding) - The sixth-ranked Harding women's basketball team couldn't get its last second shot to fall as they dropped their first game of the year in a 61-60 overtime loss at East Central on Saturday afternoon in Great American Conference action. The loss snaps an 18 game winning streak.
The Lady Bisons fell to 18-1 on the season a 10-1 in the GAC. East Central improves to 11-6 overall and 5-5 in the GAC.
"East Central played really hard and played us well defensively," Harding head coach Tim Kirby said. "It comes down to a last-second play like that. They are 9-1 here for a reason."
Harding led by as much as seven early in the first half but trailed at the half 22-18. It was the fewest points the Lady Bisons have scored in a half this season. Harding shot 8-of-28 in the half and was 0-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.
Harding battled from a 10 point deficit in the second half and took a 47-46 lead on a 3-pointer by junior guard Shana Holmes with 2:29 left in regulation. East Central answered right back with 3-pointer to lead 49-47. Freshman guard A'ndrea Haney was fouled on the next Harding possession with 54 seconds left. Haney knocked down both free throws to tie the game at 49. East Central missed a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left but got the offensive rebound. The Lady Tigers turned the ball over on a steal by Haney with five second remaining. The Lady Bisons couldn't get off a last second shot which forced overtime.
Harding led for much of overtime as they led by three on a free throw by Haney, 60-57. East Central quickly answered back on a jumper to cut the lead to one. The Lady Tigers forced a Harding turnover and took the lead on a jumper by Alycea Price. Harding's last ditch effort didn't fall to give East Central the upset.
The Lady Bisons were led by Holmes who had 13 points, scoring eight of her points in overtime. Haney had 10 points, hitting 4-of-6 free throws.
East Central was led by Erin Walling who had 20 points making 7-of-16 from the field. Alycea Price made 5-of-9 from the field and finished with 12 points.
The Lady Tigers outrebounded Harding 39-36. Dilan Webster led East Central with nine.
In the game, Harding shot a season-low 35.7 percent from the field (20-of-56) and shot 26.7 percent from behind the 3-point line (4-of-15). It was the second fewest 3-pointers that Harding has made this season. The Lady Bisons only made three in the win against Henderson State earlier this season.
It was the Lady Bisons first overtime loss since 2011-12 season as they fell at Ouachita Baptist 80-76.
Harding will be back in action on Thursday as they host Southern Nazarene at 5:30 p.m., at the Rhodes Field House in Searcy.