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Henderson vanquishes Wonder Boys

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ARKADELPHIA -- Averaging just under 84 points per game this season, Henderson State got an offensive outburst from its starting five to pull away from visiting Arkansas Tech Thursday night.

Sophomore D.J. Franklin, junior Josh Jones, senior Brad Nairn, freshman Chris Parker and senior Kaylon Tappin each scored in double figures as the Reddies improved to 7-6 overall and 2-5 in the Great American Conference with a 106-96 win at the Duke Wells Center.

The Reddies flashed their shooting range in the first half as junior Eric Dailey, sophomore Tanner Hamilton, Franklin, Jones and Tappin combined to hit seven shots from behind the arc.

Arkansas Tech (10-3, 4-3) kept things close thanks to a balanced scoring effort of its own. Alex Brown had 11 points in the first half, while Mason Cline scored nine points, Harris Brown had eight points and Jerami Grace added seven points.

Henderson State led by as much as eight points in the first half, but the Wonder Boys closed with five straight points, and Freddy Lee's 3-pointer in the final seconds pulled Arkansas Tech within 53-51 at the break.

The first 10 minutes of the second half featured two ties and five lead changes before the Reddies regained control. Franklin's layup with 11:20 remaining gave Henderson State a lead it wouldn't surrender. Jones scored nine points during a 19-2 run that gave the Reddies an 86-75 advantage with less than eight minutes to play.

R.J. Glasper's layup for Arkansas Tech cut the lead to 93-88 with 3:46 remaining, but the Wonder Boys got no closer. Two free throws by Franklin and a layup from Naird stretched Henderson State's lead back to double digits in the final two minutes.

After a layup by Alex Brown, the Reddies held Arkansas Tech without a point in the last minute of the game, Jones burying a jump shot with 30 seconds remaining to set the final margin.

Tappin led all scorers with 25 points, also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Jones recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Parker added 16 points, four rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

Nairn notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Franklin finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Alex and Harris Brown paced the Wonder Boys with 20 points each, while Cline finished with 15 points. Glasper, a University of Arkansas transfer, recorded 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Henderson State travels to the University of Arkansas at Monticello at 4 p.m. today, while Arkansas Tech hosts Southern Arkansas (6-7, 2-5) at 3 p.m. today at Tucker Coliseum.

The Reddie women (9-4, 5-2) will open today's double header against Monticello (5-7, 1-6) at 2 p.m. in the Steelman Field House. Live stats, audio and video streaming will also be available via the Henderson State University Athletics website at www.hsusports.com.

Tappin now averages 19.3 points per game and has scored in double-figures in the last eight games. The senior from Little Rock averages 21.1 points against GAC opponents.

Jones, a junior from Memphis, Tenn., averages 15.2 points for the season and has scored in double-figures in all seven conference games. Parker, true freshman from Plano, Texas, pushed his season average to 13.2 points and 4.2 dishes per contest. Nairn, a senior from Nassau, Bahamas, enters today's game averaging 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Arkansas-Monticello enters Saturday's game with an 8-5 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the GAC play following an 82-78 loss at Ouachita Baptist (5-7, 3-4) on Thursday. Monticello's roster consists of eight seniors and three juniors. In all, 11 of the 12 players on the roster are transfers.

The Boll Weevils average 83.8 points per game with the squad hitting 51 percent from the field, which ranks second in the league. Defensively, UAM allows 74.2 points per contest and leads the GAC in steals averaging 9.5 thefts.

Derylton Hill leads the team in scoring averaging 17.2 points including scoring 20 or more points each of the last four games. Last year against the Reddies, Hill combined for 35 points and 14 rebounds in the two games, including a 20-point, eight-rebound performance in the game played in Monticello.

Henderson leads the all-time series against Monticello, 94-63, in a series that began in 1931. The Boll Weevils won both meetings last year and three of the last four contests.

Sports on 01/13/2018

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