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Henderson cruises in 1st home game of season

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ARKADELPHIA -- Henderson State's men's basketball team split its first two road games to start the Great American Conference season last week, but the Reddies returned home to the Duke Wells Center on Tuesday to rout Oklahoma Panhandle State, 97-58.

The Reddies (6-2, 1-1) had five players in double figures as redshirt junior guard Kyle Murphy, of San Antonio, and sophomore forward Jeremiah Toney, a transfer from Arkansas-Fort Smith, came off of the bench to share the scoring lead with 14 points each.

Junior guard Rel Johnson, a transfer from Roane State Community College in Tennessee, scored 13 points, while senior Little Rock guard Eric Dailey and junior guard Anthony Lupardus, a transfer from Johnson County Community College in Kansas, added 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Junior forward Mike Fofana, a transfer from UT-Martin, set a Reddies season high with 14 rebounds as Henderson disrupted the Aggies (6-2) with pressure defense throughout the game, finishing with 16 steals as a team.

The two teams remained close through the game's opening minutes. Henderson jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but Panhandle State scored nine straight points to take the lead by the first media timeout. Henderson regained control with a 7-0 run, but the Aggies again retook the lead, 15-13, with 11:08 to play in the first half.

Sophomore forward Raekwon Rogers, out of Little Rock Central, grabbed two offense rebounds and finished a play himself to tie the score at 15-all and help jump-start the offense. Henderson used the momentum to go on a 20-5 run, which was highlighted by eight points from Toney, for a 41-28 lead by the halftime break.

The Reddies held the Aggies to just 35.5-percent shooting in the first half, but Henderson ramped up the defensive pressure even more at the start of the second period. Seven steals propelled the home team to a 32-7 run in the first nine minutes of the second half.

The run helped Henderson break the game open and seize a 73-35 lead. The Reddies pushed their advantage out to as much as 40 points and cruised to the 97-58 victory.

Henderson shot 51.3 percent from the field and outrebounded Panhandle State, 45-29. The Reddies hit 54 percent of their shots in the second half, including hitting 6 of 12 from 3-point range. Every Henderson player who saw action in the contest scored.

The Reddies will host their first GAC home game of the season on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Harding (4-3, 2-0). The university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee partnered with the Junior Auxiliary of Arkadelphia for the annual Angel Tree game.

Fans can attend the game and the women's game scheduled for 1 p.m. for free with a toy donation. The Junior Auxiliary of Arkadelphia will support 422 Clark County children this year with Christmas gifts.

Angel Tree tags were placed on trees at local businesses to allow supporters to shop for gifts into early December. Members of the Junior Auxiliary will purchase gifts for the remaining children on Monday using cash donations, as well as individual toys and clothes donated by the community.

Sports on 12/06/2018

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