May 23, 2007
Reach USA was handed their first defeat on the current tour Tuesday in a 79-76 loss to Zhe Jiang, the 4th place team in the Chinese Basketball Association. Lipscomb forward Eddie Ard scored eight points and was a perfect four of four from the field. The rising senior grabbed four rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
The Zhe Jiang held an eleven point advantage in the first half, but the USA group fought back and was ahead by as many as ten points early in 4th period. The Chinese team, playing their first game of the week, took advantage of a sluggish Reach squad to take a one point lead with 45 seconds remaining. A missed jumper and two Zhe Jiang free throws set the stage for late game heroics, but three missed threes in the last 20 seconds allowed the Chinese team to hold on for a victory. The local team hit twelve threes, the most given up during the 2007 tour. Three more games are set in the four games series.
Ard averaged 15.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during the 2006-07 season while starting all 31 games for the Bisons. A member of the 2nd team All-Atlantic Sun, Ard led the conference in free throw percentage at 83.0%.
The complete Reach USA team includes Ard, LSU's Garrett Temple, Mississippi State's Brian Johnson, Texas-Pan American's Paul Stoll, Auburn's Quan Prowell and Rasheem Barrett, and Alabama's Mikhail Torrance and Demetrius Jemison.