NORTH LITTLE ROCK — “Attack,” hollered Bryant Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews, time after time as his team got into the half-court, broke down the Maumelle Lady Hornets’ defense and either got a good look, scored, got to the line or all of the above.
And, after struggling to score in each of their first three games this season, they rolled up 61 points in three quarters. Nine different players contributed to the scoring and everyone played in a 61-35 win on Friday at the OrthoArkansas/Central Arkansas Christian Invitational Tournament.
Now 1-1 in the tourney, the Lady Hornets will go after a second victory when they take on Camden Fairview Saturday at 2 p.m.
The scoring was also fueled by a strong defensive effort in which they forced 28 turnovers, 26 in the first three quarters when they built a 61-27 lead and triggered the sportsmanship rule that had the clock running non-stop over the final period.
“We got some transition baskets, some stuff off some pressure,” Matthews noted after the game. “I think you could just kind of see our kids, the weight coming off our shoulders the way we’ve been shooting it. It was good to see some shots go in, good to see some kids make some shots. That got us in a good rhythm. We were able to keep being aggressive.
“It’s a good win,” he acknowledged. “This group needed a good win. It’s still early in the year, still some things we’ve got to build on, still some mistakes we’ve got to correct but it’s a good win for our kids.”
Lauren Carroll led the scoring with 14 points. Jakeria Otey broke out of a shooting slump with 13 points hitting 5 of 6 shots from the field. Raija Todd, the freshman who appears to be getting more and more comfortable playing at the varsity level, pitched in with 12 points. Maddie Baxter finished with 6 and Emily Ridgell 5. Kendall Rogers scored 4, Annie Patton 3, Cayla McDowell and Rachel Miller 2 each.
Carroll, despite being 5-foot-4 continued to be tough to guard as she attacked the bucket. She and Ridgell each had a team-high six rebounds as the Lady Hornets out-boarded Maumelle 38-20. Bryant’s total included 18 offensive caroms.
“We’re not the biggest team in the state but we’ve got some good athletes, we’ve got some kids with some skill,” Matthews explained. “We just can’t settle. We sometimes settle for shots. Instead of getting the shots that we can get, we want to get the shots that we want to get.
“(Maumelle) came out in a man (defense) then kind of got in a wide zone and we were able to get to the rim, get a lot of shots right around the lane,” he noted. “That always helps your offense. We were really aggressive early and it was multiple kids, not just one or two.”
Maumelle’s last lead was 9-8 with 2:52 left in the first quarter. At the other end, Todd from the wing and found Otey open for a 3, which she drilled to put Bryant up for good. Otey followed with a layup and, after Kamri Summons drove for a basket for Maumelle, Ridgell canned a triple. Otey added a pair of free throws.
With time running out in the quarter, Ridgell rebounded a Maumelle miss and pushed it ahead to Rogers for a layup and a 20-11 lead.
The 12-2 run was extended early in the second quarter. Taylor Colquit hit a free throw for Maumelle to start the period but then Carroll scored off the offensive glass, Ridgell made a steal and Baxter cashed it in with a layup. Todd added back-to-back buckets, one off a drive and another following her own miss and it was 28-12.
Jayla Hopson managed Maumelle’s first field goal of the quarter when she hit a 3 at the 5:14 mark but it didn’t slow Bryant down. Carroll countered with a drive and it was 30-15.
With 4:36 left in the half, the Lady Hornets missed a free throw only to have Otey track down the rebound. She passed out to Baxter who pumped in a 3 then followed with a steal and a free throw to make it a 19-point lead.
Maumelle’s Deja Ward hit 3’s on either side of a stickback by Otey but the lead was no less than 15 from that point on. McDowell buried a 12-footer to spark another Bryant run. Patton knocked down a 3 and Carroll added a layup to make it 43-21 at the half.
And to start the third quarter, Todd drove for consecutive layups, the second off a steal by Otey. Carroll attacked for another basket to make it 49-21 as Maumelle asked for time. When play resumed, Carroll went to the line and converted twice and, after a Maumelle turnover, Otey hit a running jumper to cap off a 17-0 run.
The teams traded baskets for most of the rest of the third quarter. When Ridgell and a Rogers scored the last two baskets of the period, the Bryant lead was 34.
In the fourth quarter, Lania Ratliff, Riley Hill, Deja Rayford, Reagan McCormick, Anna Turpin, Morgan Walters and Taylor Hill each got some varsity playing time.
BRYANT 61, MAUMELLE 35
Score by quarter
Maumelle 11 10 6 8 — 35
BRYANT 20 23 18 0 — 61
Lockhart 0-0 0-0 0, Summons 7-8 1-1 15, Woods-Gray 2-8 0-0 4, Colquit 0-5 1-2 1, Grant 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 0-6 0-0 0, Woods 2-3 0-0 6, Hopson 3-7 0-0 7, Gatmaton 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 15-40 (38%) 2-5 (40%) 35.
Otey 5-6 2-2 13, Carroll 6-10 2-3 14, Baxter 2-5 1-4 6, Todd 6-13 0-2 12, Miller 0-3 2-2 2, Ridgell 2-9 0-0 5, Martin 0-2 0-2 0, Rogers 2-3 0-0 4, McDowell 1-2 0-0 2, Patton 1-3 0-0 3, Ratliff 0-1 0-0 0, R.Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Rayford 0-0 0-0 0, McCormick 0-0 0-0 0, Turpin 0-0 0-0 0, Walters 0-0 0-0 0, T.Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 (44%) 7-15 (47%) 61.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-10 (Baxter 1-3, Patton 1-2, Otey 1-1, Carroll 0-1, Todd 0-1, McDowell 0-1), Maumelle 3-12 (Woods 2-3, Hopson 1-1, Thompson 0-4, Woods-Gray 0-3, Allen 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 19, Maumelle 28. Rebounds: Bryant 38 (Carroll 4-2 6, Ridgell 2-4 6, Otey 4-1 5, Miller 2-3 5, Martin 2-2 4, Todd 1-2 3, Rogers 0-3 3, Patton 2-0 2, McDowell 1-0 1, Rayford 0-1 1, T.Hill 0-1 1, team 0-1 1), Maumelle 20 (Woods-Gray 1-6 7, Colquit 1-4 5, Summons 1-2 3, Thompson 0-3 3, team 1-0 1). Team fouls: Bryant 8, Maumelle 11.