ARKADELPHIA - A slow start offensively coupled with a hot shooting Henderson State squad was enough to down Southern Arkansas’ efforts Thursday night.
SAU fell to the Reddies 82-63 in Great American Conference action which snapped a four-game winning streak.
The Muleriders (16-5, 11-4 GAC) struggled from the perimeter in the loss as they made just three of 21 attempts in addition to suffering 16 turnovers.
Henderson State used a 10-0 scoring run with under three minutes to build the large halftime lead.
That run came after the Muleriders managed to pull within six points courtesy of the team’s lone trifecta of the half; a CJ Elkins three-pointer that cut the deficit to 26-20.
The Muleriders fought to pull within 11 points late in the second half, but the Reddies would not relinquish the lead as they built their lead back to 19.
Devante Brooks scored a team-high 14 points, while both CJ Elkins and Aaron Lucas went for 10 points each.
The Muleriders return to the W.T. Watson Center for a GAC tilt with Arkansas Tech on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Lady Reddies 70, Lady Muleriders 49
The Lady Reddies outscored the Lady Muleriders 26-10 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
The high scorer for the night was Pink Jones, who scored 20 points on 7-14 shooting from the field.
Ariana Guinn led SAU with 14 points.
After the Lady Reddies outscored the Lady Muleriders by 12, SAU outscored them in the second quarter 15-13 to cut the lead at half to 10 points. However, Henderson State scored 26 points compared to only 10 points for SAU.
Jerica Bell was the only other Mulerider to break into double digits, scoring 10 points.
With the loss, the Lady Muleriders drop to 2-19 on the season and 1-14 in conference. They return home for their next game against Arkansas Tech on Saturday.
Alumni gathering set for Saturday
A Mulerider basketball alumni gathering will be held on Saturday when SAU hosts Arkansas Tech.
Past SAU men’s and women’s basketball alumni from all eras are invited to attend, including the 1988-89 and 1989-90 Mulerider men’s teams which will be honored at halftime of the men’s game in recognition of their championship seasons.
“It is always a special time when we have the opportunity to reconnect with former players, coaches and teams and bring them back to campus to commemorate their time here at Southern Arkansas,” noted SAU Director of Athletics, Steve Browning. “This is the first of many events that we hope to have to honor those that have helped create our storied athletics history.”
The event will begin with a fellowship and lunch at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed by a brief program featuring remarks from SAU President Dr. Trey Berry, SAU Director of Athletics Steve Browning and head basketball coaches Adam Collins (women) and Andy Sharpe (men).
The program will lead into the tip-off of the SAU Women’s GAC tilt with Arkansas Tech at 1 p.m. and will be followed by the men’s matchup against the Wonder Boys at 3 p.m.
The 1988-89 and 1989-90 SAU men’s teams, led by the late Monroe Ingram; a 2006 Inductee of the SAU Sports Hall of Fame, are remembered as two of the best teams in program history as the squads combined to win 46 games across the two seasons. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ‘88-89 Muleriders capturing the District 17 Championship behind a 24-6 record overall and a 13-5 mark in AIC play, while it has been 29 years since the ‘89-90 Muleriders claimed the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) Title with an overall record of 22-5 and a 15-3 record in conference action.
The success of both teams marked just the fifth time in program history that the Muleriders won 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons.
Additionally, the combined 46 wins stand as the second-most victories in any two-year stretch in program history.
The 1989-90 Muleriders hold the distinction of being the most recent team in program history to have won a conference championship.
This year’s Mulerider team became the first team in program history to produce 10 wins through the season’s first 12 games since the 1989-90 Muleriders started 18-2.