With this defeat, Harding has lost their second straight conference game and their seventh in eight games against D-II opposition. All but one of these losses were on the road, and this was another close one, but it’s not easy to watch the losses pile up.
Matt Hall’s 24 led the Bisons, but he didn’t really have much help offensively. Brandon Sims had a typically efficient performance, but he didn’t see enough shots to really make a difference. Patrick Andrepont did not start the game and played just ten minutes, which was odd. I’ll assume this was a disciplinary issue or a particular single-game matchup that Coach Morgan liked. OBU does play a lot smaller than most GSC teams, so I can understand using Rick Hamilton to disrupt their particular style. Then again, Hamilton didn’t play well offensively, so it didn’t work out. Of course, Andrepont didn’t pick up any slack during his minutes, either.
This was a strange game statistically. OBU blistered the Bisons offensively, just like DSU did two nights before. However, the Bisons dominated the boards on both ends in this matchup. They grabbed almost 50% on their offensive end and held OBU to 11% on their side, making it easily their best rebounding performance of the season. I don’t actually know how they did it (they were credited with 10 “team” offensive rebounds), but whatever they did was working.
This week will be the time to put together all of the things the Bisons have done well in individual games. It will be important not to overlook Arkansas Tech (if it’s possible to overlook anyone when you’re 1-2), and Henderson State will be a very physical test at home on Saturday. I assume it will be a blackout game, and the Bisons will need the support of the home crowd very much.
Elsewhere in the GSC
Henderson State shocked Christian Brothers in a showdown between the division’s top two teams thus far. HSU’s pressure defense won the test of strength against the usually-potent Bucs offense, holding them to an almost shockingly low 42.1 TS%. Kevin Weybright was again the leading scorer for CBU, but he was held to his second-lowest scoring total of the season (11), while the rest of the team was similarly lost. Dee Dee Drake had 16 to lead the Reddies to a 3-0 start in conference play.
Delta State came out on top against UAM at home, led by Marlon McCoy’s 28 points. The Nate Newell Show tallied 26 points as the strapping young guard failed in his quest to outscore the rest of his teammates combined. DSU is also 3-0, and the schedule sets up nicely for them to face fellow-undefeated Henderson State in the final game of each half of the conference schedule.
Southern Arkansas took out Arkansas Tech in what will almost certainly be their only road victory of the season. Brandon Bealer had 19, and three other Muleriders scored in double figures. ATU’s Denarryl Rice led the Wonder Boys in scoring with 20 points. Sadly, the most notable thing about these teams’ matchups every season is that they have the two most ridiculous nicknames in college sports.
Thursday’s schedule will have Arkansas Tech at home against Harding, Henderson hosting UAM, Christian Brothers at Ouachita, and Southern Arkansas at Delta State.