Southern women's basketball falls at Harding 72-53

Searcy, Ark. - The Missouri Southern Lions women's basketball team fell on the road this afternoon at Harding University 72-53. Behind a career-high 33 point scoring output from junior guard Kristen Celsor, Harding used Celsor's hot shooting and capitalized on a season-high 25 turnovers from the Lions to take home the victory.

The Lions (6-3) were led on the afternoon by senior forward Erin Rice and junior guard Shatara Stone who each finished the afternoon with 10 points. Sharese Jones finished with nine points, while sophomore guard Nicole Hartzog chipped in seven points.

Kristen Celsor led the Lady Bisons (4-4) with 33 points and a career-high six steals, while forward Arielle Saunders notched a double-double finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Getting off to a slow start, Harding jumped out to a 10-3 lead thanks to six points from Celsor, but the Lions battled back using a 8-7 run over the next four minutes, including six points from Jones to make the score 17-11.  Harding responded with a 7-1 run to take its largest lead of the first half at 12 points (24-12), but the Lions responded again with six consecutive points, including four from Hartzog to close the game within six at 24-18. The Lady Bisons answered the Lions run with six consecutive points of their own to close out the first half going into the locker room at halftime up 30-18.

Getting out to a 10-4 run to start the half, Harding took a 40-22 lead, but the Lions responded with a 9-2 run, including five points from Rice and four from junior center Shonte Clay to close the gap to within 11 (42-31), but that would be as close as the Lions would get the rest of the afternoon as Harding shot 15-of-26 from the field in the second half to extend the lead to as many as 28 before the Lions finished strong losing by a final score of 72-53.

The Lions shot a season-low 18-of-51 (.238), including only going 1-of-10 (.100) from behind the three-point line, from the field on the night. Despite forcing 20 Lady Bisons turnovers, the Lions were only able to turn that into 16 points and and finished with a season-low six assists.

The Lions take a break for the holidays returning to action on Thursday, January 3 when they take on Northwest Missouri State at home at 5:30 p.m.