Late Run Lifts SWOSU Past Harding; Dawgs Win Third Straight


SEARCY, Ark. – SWOSU utilized a 13-0 run against Harding late in the second half to erase a nine-point deficit and pick up their third consecutive conference victory in the process, 75-72.

Fresh off an overtime victory at Arkansas Tech two days prior – the first road victory over Tech since 2003 – the Bulldogs found a way to get the job done again.

The Dawgs trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half and by nine points with five minutes remaining in the game but found a way to claw their way back.

They have now won three-straight games, all in conference, and have not lost since January 8th. They move to an even 5-5 in GAC play and find themselves right in the thick of the conference standings with 11 games left to play in the regular season.

Things looked grim to start the second half, with Harding jumping out in control first. Tied 34-34 at the break, the Bisons outscored SWOSU 22-10 through the second half’s first eight minutes of play. Also battling foul trouble with Damion Thornton and Chris Braggs, Jr., the Bulldogs had to dig deep and find a way.

Down nine (68-59) at the 5:00 mark, SWOSU made the push. While not allowing a Harding score, three pointers from Ben Smith and Jaylan Williams and foul shots from Kamden Gipson and Mason Hart knotted things back up at 68-68 with 2:48 left to go. The Dawgs did not stop there though and got buckets from Thornton and Gipson to close out the 13-0 run with 48 seconds remaining in the game, now leading 72-68.

Foul shots were exchanged the rest of the way by both teams, but the Dawgs knocked down enough to ice the game away.

For the game, SWOSU shot 47% and Harding finished at 39%. SWOSU did struggle at the foul line throughout and finished just 12-of-22 (55%) from the charity stripe. They got a lift from the three-point line though by knocking down 11-of-28 (39%) deep balls with six of those coming from Williams.

Williams led the way for SWOSU with a team best 20 points thanks to 6-of-13 from beyond the arc. Damion Thornton was right behind him with 19 points, and Ben Smith added 12.

Point Guard Kamden Gipson was everywhere on Saturday, and it showed on the stat sheet. He finished with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

SWOSU returns home to the friendly confines of the Pioneer Cellular Event Center next week to host Southern Arkansas on Thursday, January 27th at 7:30pm.