Tigers beat Harding for first GAC win

By Brian Ramsey
OBU Sports Information

ARKADELPHIA — The Ouachita Baptist University women’s basketball team picked up its first Great American Conference win of the season on Saturday at home, knocking off Harding by a final score of 82-60.

Four Tigers reached double-digits in scoring, led by Aspen Thornton and Makayla Miller with 22 points each. Claudia Vanzant turned in the best game of her career with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Laney Mears added 13 points off the bench.

The Tigers (2-3, 1-1 GAC) jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first four minutes of the opening period, resulting in a Bisons timeout at the 6:12 mark following a steal and fast-break layup by Laney Mears. Ouachita maintained at least an eight-point lead in the final four minutes of the first, and held an 11-point lead of 21-10 heading into the second.

Ouachita sustained its double-digit lead throughout the second period, holding as much as an 18-point lead on two different occasions, both on three-pointers by Mears. The Tigers took a 16-point lead of 47-31 into the locker room at the break.

The Ouachita lead rose to as much as 19 in the early moments of the third period. Harding (5-2, 1-1 GAC) began chipping away at the lead from that point, and cut its deficit down to single digits with three minutes remaining in the third. Although Harding outscored Ouachita 19-15 in the third, the Tigers still managed to hold a double-digit advantage heading into the fourth at 62-50.

The Tigers matched its first-period performance in the final 10 minutes, outscoring Harding 20-10, highlighted by a 15-0 run to give Ouachita its biggest lead of the game at 23 with 3:27 remaining.

Ouachita finished the game shooting just above 50 percent from the field, connecting on 32-of-63shots, while holding Harding to a 34 percent outing (20-for-59). Ouachita held a 45-30 advantage in the rebound category with 17 second chance points off 15 offensive rebounds.