By David Salley
HSU Sports Information
WEATHERFORD, Okla. — After falling behind 67-66 with 3:40 left on Saturday, Henderson State closed the game on a 14-3 run to defeat Southwestern Oklahoma State 80-70 at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center.
The win was the 100th for head coach Jimmy Elgas at Henderson State. Elgas becomes just the fourth coach in program history to win 100 or more games at the school, joining Don Dyer (316), Rand Chappell (120) and Grady Bean (101).
Five different players scored in double figures for the Reddies (8-5, 4-3) in the victory. Malik Riddle finished with a team-high 17 points — 14 of which came in the second half. Ryan Boyce had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Xavier Davenport added 12 and Quawn Marshall and Alvin Miles each had 11.
After a back-and-forth start, Henderson was in control of the game for most of the afternoon. The lead changed hands 12 times in the first 15 minutes of the opening half, but with the score knotted at 22-22, the Reddies put together a big run. HSU used 3-pointers from Riddle and Miles, as well as an alley-oop jam from Boyce, to power an 11-1 run and surge in front 33-23 at the 2:39 mark.
SWOSU looked to steal some momentum before the break and used an 8-0 spurt to trim the deficit to 33-31, but a 3-pointer from Graham Chenault in the last minute of the half and a buzzer-beating jumper from Miles reestablished a 38-31 lead for Henderson after 20 minutes. The Reddies hit four 3-pointers in the last five minutes of the period.
The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the second half to trim the lead down to 38-36, but HSU had an answer and got five quick points from Riddle to help extend the advantage back out to 45-36 with 15:13 remaining. Henderson continued to slowly stretch the lead over the next several minutes, as back-to-back 3-pointers from Miles and Davenport gave the Reddies their largest lead of the game, 56-45, at the 11:33 mark.
Although Southwestern continued to try and climb back, HSU was able to keep them at bay as the game entered its final stretch. The Bulldogs got as close at 59-55 with 8:24 left behind a 10-3 run, but a 3-pointer from Riddle and a bucket from Boyce helped Henderson go up 64-57 with 6:54 to go.
At that moment, the game flipped in SWOSU’s favor. After leading for the entire second half, the Reddies watched as Southwestern put together a 10-2 run over the next three minutes and seized a 67-66 advantage with 3:40 remaining in the game.
With the momentum suddenly on the home team’s bench and trailing for the first time since the first half, the Reddies answered the bell with the run that would define the game. A jumper from Boyce quickly gave the lead back to HSU and back-to-back driving layups from Marshall on the next two possessions stretched the advantage to 72-67 at the 1:39 mark.
A 3-pointer from the Bulldogs, which would prove to be their last points of the game, cut the deficit to 72-70 with 1:13 left, but Henderson was too much in the final minute. Marshall again came through with a slicing lay-in to make it 74-70 on the ensuing possession for HSU and the Reddies locked down SWOSU on the other end. Southwestern missed four shots and committed a turnover in the last 35 seconds, as Henderson was able to salt the game away at the free throw line and win it, 80-70.
The Reddies shot a scorching 69.6% (16-of-23) from the floor in the second half and hit a season-high 11 3-pointers in the game. Henderson also shared the ball exceptionally well and finished with 22 assists — the most in a single game for the program since 2019. The victory was the 11th-straight for HSU over Southwestern Oklahoma.
Henderson returns to the floor on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts rival Ouachita Baptist at the Duke Wells Center.