Harding University held off a comeback bid by nationally 21st-ranked Arkansas Tech University to defeat the Golden Suns 64-62 in Great American Conference women’s basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Monday night.
With the win, the Lady Bisons (20-3 overall, 17-1 GAC) took a three-game lead for first place in the GAC standings over second-place Arkansas Tech (18-4, 14-4) with four regular season games remaining.
“It wasn’t one of our best nights, especially in the first quarter,” said Golden Suns head coach Dave Wilbers. “They were more physical than us and they got better shots than we did. There’s a lot left in our season. This was a tough loss at home, but we’ll bounce back and finish strong.”
Harding led 29-19 after one quarter and by as many as 15 points in the first half. The Golden Suns pulled back within 40-34 at the intermission by holding the Lady Bisons scoreless for the final 4:15 of the second quarter and closing the half with seven straight points.
Harding stretched its margin back out to 13 points during the third quarter. Tech again closed a period on a 7-0 run to cut the Lady Bisons’ lead to 40-34 going to the final 10 minutes.
Harding again pulled away, taking a 58-47 lead with 4:20 left. And once again, the Golden Suns would not disappear.
Danielle Frachiseur made two free throws and Calli White knocked down a 3-pointer to spark an 11-2 run by Tech to trim the Lady Bisons’ margin to 60-58 with 1:22 to go.
Two Pounds free throws with 8.8 seconds left pulled the Suns within 63-62.
After Riley Rose made 1-of-2 free throws for Harding, Arkansas Tech called timeout to set up its final shot. The Suns got a look at an 18-foot jump shot from the right baseline, but it came up short and the Lady Bisons completed a regular season sweep of Arkansas Tech.
White finished with 18 points and Pounds had 10 points for ATU.
Sydnie Jones paced Harding with 17 points.
The Golden Suns will play their final home game of the 2016-17 regular season when they host the University of Arkansas-Monticello for a 5:30 p.m. GAC contest at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 16.