This past week’s split leaves the Bisons at 5-5, tied for fourth in the GSC West. They’re barely hanging on to a tourney berth, but hanging on nonetheless.
The Bisons staked out a big lead on Thursday at Southern Arkansas, but the Muleriders made threes and won the rebounding battle to take the game in the end, 78-69.
Steven Barnett had a great offensive game, scoring 19 with six assists to just two turnovers. Kirk Porter had 14 points off the bench, and Sam Brown added 11 to round out the scorers with double-digits. Kevin Brown played just 16 minutes, which opened up some playing time for both Porter and Matt Ragsdale. Trent Morgan also only played 20 minutes, and he finished with the game with six points and four fouls.
Saturday was a totally different story, only with some of the same cast in starring roles. Barnett and Porter, once again, were the team’s leading scorers in a 94-67 rout of Arkansas Tech. There was plenty of playing time to go around, as only Barnett and Sam Brown played more than 24 minutes of this somewhat surprising blowout.
Barnett had 18, Porter had 17, and Stephen Blake had 15 to lead the scoring effort. All three were quite efficient, but Blake’s 15 points on 8 shots, along with four assists, two steals, and no turnovers of his own, made his box score line perhaps the team’s most impressive.
The Bisons also turned up the defense in this game, holding ATU to just 30% shooting from the field. Blake, Barnett, and Trent Morgan contributed to a slight revival of free-throw shooting competence, as the Bisons shot 68% for the game after spending their last two games in the 50% range.
Saturday’s win had to be a satisfying one after the Bisons’ earlier 16-point loss in Russellville, and they’ll need to build on it for the upcoming stretch of tough games against Christian Brothers, Delta State, UAM, and OBU (possibly for the final conference tourney spot).