The rims were on shooting lockdown Saturday in Memphis, and the Bisons couldn’t muster up enough offense to stick with Christian Brothers, losing 70-56 to the West Division’s current hottest team in the regular season finale.
The two teams combined for 35 3-point attempts and made just three of them: 1-for-12 for the Bisons and 2-for-23 for the Buccaneers. Where CBU made up that difference was at the free throw line (22-of-32 vs. 5-of-12 for the Bisons), with good ball control (just over 10% turnover ratio), and with excellent inside scoring (70% from inside the arc).
Kevin Weybright led both teams’ scorers with 23, while Nick Kohs had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Trent Morgan’s 15 paced the Bisons, who only got 10 from team leader Matt Hall. Kevin Brown rounded out HU’s 10-point scorers with 10 and 9 rebounds.
The loss dropped Harding into a three-way tie for first place with Christian Brothers and Ouachita Baptist, but HU’s season sweep of the Tigers was enough to win the tiebreaker and grab the #1 seed. CBU finished #2, and OBU #3. The three-way tie scenario also came up for 4th through 6th places, with UAM and ATU taking the final two spots.
Fortune was not smiling on the Bisons in terms of their quarterfinal opponent in the GSC Tournament. Both UAH (East #4) and Arkansas Tech (West #5) beat the Bisons twice this year, setting an ominous tone for how the tournament might play out. On the other hand, it’s a guaranteed chance at redemption, and the Bisons did play Tech closer the second time around. Additionally, they avoid the two hottest teams (CBU and North Alabama) until the final round.
With a 1-1 week, I’m thinking the Bisons are no guarantee for the NCAA tournament, even with a West Division title. I imagine they’ll drop from the #5 spot into bubble territory, so they need to win as many games in the GSC Tournament as possible.