Harding scores 21 as Southeast beats Carroll
Jerrick Harding and his Southeast teammates had led Bishop Carroll since the first quarter with athleticism and defensive pressure, but the Golden Buffaloes couldn’t pull away.
So with a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Harding took over with an increase in offense. The sophomore guard scored 10 points in less than three minutes, then knocked down a pair of key free throws with 25 seconds left in Southeast’s 50-44 win.
“Coach told me to shoot the ball,” Harding said. “And my teammates got me the ball when I was open. They helped me, and that’s what we needed.”
Harding, who hadn’t scored since the 5:17 mark of the first quarter, hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions early in the fourth quarter. He drove down the middle of the lane the next time down the floor and scored with a finger roll, then added a 5-foot floater on the following possession. With 1:50 left in the game, Southeast’s lead had grown to 10 points.
But Carroll, outmatched in speed and athleticism, made a final run that nearly spoiled Harding’s surge. Sophomore guard Patrick Carney hit a pair of fourth-quarter threes. His last one came with 38 seconds left and capped a 9-1 Carroll run that brought the Eagles to within two points.
Harding converted both shots of a one-and-one opportunity and teammate Jordan Murdock did the same with 8.3 seconds left to seal the win. Harding scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter.
“That’s the maturing we’ve needed,” Southeast coach Melvin Herring said. “He’s starting to listen and make the right decisions. We’re a young team. We have a lot of sophomores out there, so we need to be smart and listen and mature. We saw some of that tonight.”
Carroll, which struggled against the speed and athleticism of Southeast’s backcourt, limited the turnovers by containing Southeast in transition. But the Eagles couldn’t overcome a flat shooting night that saw the home team go 3 for 20 from the three-point line.
“We saw some good things tonight and took some steps forward,” Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar said. “We didn’t match up with their quickness very well, and that was evident early but we were able to get back into our game.”
Carroll overcame foul trouble for starting forwards Matt Price and Connor Evans. Price fouled out with two minutes left, and Evans missed most of the second and third quarters.
Carroll’s comeback was aided by Carney’s offensive rebound and put-back with a minute left, followed by his three-pointer from the right corner to pull within two.
Southeast, which hit just 3 of its first 9 free throws, hit five in a row to end the game.
Southeast — E. Garnes 6, J. Harding 21, E. Payne 5, D. Love 2, R. Oyugi 6, O. Loudermilk 1, J. Murdock 9.
Carroll — M. Wilbert 4, L. Hohl 13, P. Carney 10, M. Price 4, K. Demel 2, C. Evans 11.