That was not a good start to the conference season, to say the least. Henderson State was 1-10 heading into last night’s 76-71 win over the Bisons, and the win was against Philander Smith. Anything can happen on a given night, but Bison fans would have to have expected a win here if the team is going to win any GSC road games this season.
Trent Morgan and Kevin Brown weren’t getting their shots to fall, shooting a combined 7-for-23 from the field for 17 points. Brown also led the team with five turnovers. The team’s leading scorer was actually Stephen Blake, who hit a few threes and finished with 15. Steven Barnett had 14, which was the top figure among starters.
Poor shooting (or great HSU defense) was the sole reason for the loss, since the Bisons won both the rebounding and turnover battles. Only Brian Howard had more than five boards (with 9), so it was a collective effort on both ends of the floor. HSU guard Tray Allison had seven turnovers, contributing to a Bison win on that front.
Unfortunately for the Bisons, putting the ball in the basket is the most important aspect of the game, and Stephen Blake was the only Bison to make more than half of his shot attempts. Sam Brown was 2-for-7; Howard was 2-for-6; Kirk Porter was 1-for-4; Matt Ragsdale was 3-for-9. A team batting average of .359 would be pretty good, but it probably goes without saying such a low field goal percentage isn’t going to win a lot of games.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that the Bison defense wasn’t as strong, allowing a weak Reddies team to make 51.7% from the field, making them the first team to top 50% against the Bisons all year. Five Reddies scored in double figures, led by Mitchell Martin’s 19.
The Bisons led by one at the half but couldn’t hold things together in the end. We’ll hope for a better result on Thursday in the GSC home opener against Southern Arkansas.