Freshman Matt Ragsdale and senior Matt Hall each scored 20 points in a game that was a rout from the start. The Bisons started the game on an 18-0 run and didn’t look back against Champion Baptist, a school that has been in existence for all of three years.
This game was a display of total dominance on both ends of the floor for HU, as should have been expected against such an inexperienced opponent. Harding bested their efficiency rating by over 50, which signals a blowout regardless of the pace.
I suppose the story of the game, aside from several players reaching early career highs in points, is the play of Steven Barnett, who was credited with a school-record 16 assists in just 26 minutes on the floor. Teams tend to rack up assists when they’re scoring lots of easy baskets, as the Bisons were all night long. Still, 16 is a phenomenal assist total, even when you consider that the game was at home (some teams, Harding included, benefit from a home floor assist bias).
There were a number of efficient individual shooting performances, even though HU shot under 30% from three-point range. Trent Morgan scored 10, with half of his points coming from the free-throw line, and Philip Groves scored 10 on 7 shots. The best performance came from Hall, though: in just 12 minutes, he had 20 points and just 8 field goal attempts, almost (again) distributing his scoring perfectly between 2-point shots, threes, and free throws.
It’s hard to mention all the great performances in this game, so it has to be a confidence booster to come home and pick up a win like this. The Bisons will host their own tournament this weekend, where they’ll face Jarvis Christian and Alabama-Huntsville.