By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
RUSSELLVILLE — Gracie Raby’s career-high 22 points fuels Henderson State to its third consecutive conference win, defeating Arkansas Tech 78-67 in the final road game of 2022.
Along with Raby, three other Reddies scored double-digit points. Abbie Jiles had 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sonni Martin led the team with five assists and had 13 points, while Ashley Farrar scored 16. Henderson shot 40.8 percent from the field and was 9-27 from beyond the arc.
Arkansas Tech won the tip-off, but Henderson struck first with a triple from Jiles. The Golden Suns responded to the Reddies’ fast start with a 6-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 8-6. After regaining the lead off a Jiles jumper, HSU and ATU traded baskets for the next two minutes. Henderson made eight of its last ten field goals to take a 24-20 lead into the second period.
The Golden Suns opened the second frame with a seven-point run, but the Reddies responded, outscoring ATU 7-2 to keep their slim advantage, 31-29. Each side scored four points before the buzzer rang, ending the first half with HSU leading 35-33. Henderson shot 44 percent from the field on 32 attempts and was 3-12 from deep.
HSU came out of the break quickly, outscoring ATU 12-5 to extend its lead to 47-38. Farrar and Martin connected on back-to-back triples to give the Reddies a 13-point advantage over the Golden Suns. ATU began to chip away at HSU’s lead with a pair of layups with 2:20 left in the third period. A layup from Martin in the dying seconds of the period gave Henderson a double-digit lead heading into the final frame, 57-47.
The Reddies stayed on the front foot as they outscored Arkansas Tech 13-5 in the opening four minutes of the final period. Raby contributed eight of the 13 points, including back-to-back triples, while Jiles started the scoring with a three-pointer. A late push by the Golden Suns to close the gap on the HSU lead would prove too much. ATU outscored HSU 12-6 in the final three minutes, but the Reddies held on to win 78-67.
Henderson State (6-3, 3-0) returns to the Duke Wells Center for the final time in 2022 when they host Harding University on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m.