Sep 27, 2022
Arkadelphia, Ark.—Although the Panhandle State men’s basketball team fell 97-58 in Tuesday’s showing with the NCAA Division-II team, senior guard Alan Hodge Jr. rose to the occasion, scoring a game-high of 17 points against the 6-2 Great American Conference opponent.
Henderson State owned a 41-28 lead at halftime, but the Aggies outshot the Reddies 5-3 from three-point range in the first half. Sophomore Hank Harrel put up two treys, along with freshman Garret Hoffman, sophomore Dillan Landers and junior Jake Murdock who each scored one from beyond the arc. Panhandle improved their overall shooting to 37.9 percent in the second half, but turnovers and work at the boards held them short of a comeback.
The Aggies gave up 31 points on 22 turnovers in the game and were outmatched 45-29 at the boards; the Reddies scored 20 second-chance points and put up 58 points in the paint. Panhandle averaged 36.7 percent from the field, 31.3 percent beyond the arc and went 4 of 8 at the line. Their opponents shot at 51.3 percent for the game, landing 34.6 percent from three-point territory and went 6 of 9 in free throw attempts.
Hodge led the game in scoring with 17 points, including three long-distance shots and 2 of 2 at the line. Junior Brandon Green was the next highest scoring Aggie with 11 points posted off the bench. DK Sumo and Baris Ulker led the team in rebounds with six apiece followed by Harrel and Hodge who brought down five and four boards respectively. Ulker also accounted for the Aggies’ two total blocks in the game and Sumo got away with two of the teams’ four steals.
Head Coach Aaron Coombs had this to say after the contest, “We started the game off very well from an offensive and defensive approach, but we turned the ball over way too much and many of them were unforced turnovers, which really hurt us because they lead to fast break points.” Coombs continued, “Henderson State is a very well-coached team that is tough and really tries to defend you, and that’s exactly what they did.” He added, “Our guys need to be tougher when playing higher-level competition and not get so intimidated.”
On the positive side Coombs noted, “I was proud of our half-court defense. When we actually made them have to run offense and not score out of transition or off turnovers, I thought we defended them at a high level. Also, Brandon Green gave us good minutes along with Garret Hoffman. Both continue to improve and will be critical to increasing our depth when we get some of our injured guys back next semester.”
Panhandle State basketball enjoys a small break before re-entering Sooner Athletic Conference play on Dec. 13 when both teams face off on the road with Langston. The men’s team maintains a 6-2 season record and the Aggie women stand at 5-3; both teams hold a 1-1 record within the SAC.
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