The Bryant Lady Hornets bounced back from a season-opening loss to the Pine Bluff Fillies on Thursday night, holding the Maumelle Lady Hornets without a field goal in the second half until there was just 1:10 left in the game on the way to a 39-24 victory Saturday afternoon at the Hornets Nest.
After playing almost strictly zone on Thursday, Bryant head coach Brad Matthews had his team deployed in a varsity of defenses, playing some man, a variety of zones and using full-court and half-court traps.
“When you get beat, it’s a long ride home,” Matthews said. “I had a lot of things to think about. And that’s one of the things I wish we would’ve done a little bit differently against Pine Bluff, extend us a little bit, do some different things, trapping, and give some people opportunities to throw it away.
“I don’t think we can take it from a lot of people but we can put some other teams in spots where they’ve got to make decisions with the ball,” he explained. “I thought, today, we were able to get some turnovers. Our defense was a little bit better. I think there’s some things there that we can definitely build on.”
In fact, Maumelle suffered 20 turnovers.
Offensively, Bryant’s two veteran players Raven Loveless and Kendal Rogers led the way. Loveless scored a game-high 13 points and collected 12 rebounds, half on the offensive end.
“We did a better job running offense, a little bit better job getting into it, a little bit better job executing it,” Matthews observed. “Still, it was the second game of the year. We can watch tape and correct through tape, correct through practice, getting reps.
“The other night against Pine Bluff, we weren’t consistent with our intensity,” he mentioned. “I thought today, it was a little more consistent. We’ve still got to be moving closer and closer to consistent intensity.
“We still gave up too many offensive rebounds,” the coach added. “But today I thought we were able to kind of do what we do in practice.”
After Maumelle scored the first 5 points of the game, a basket by Lania Ratliff off a feed from Loveless got Bryant going. Free throws from Rogers and Kalia Walker gave Bryant a 6-5 lead before Maumelle’s Jayla Hopson hit an 18-footer to give her team a one-point edge at the first break.
Loveless and Maumelle’s Jayla King traded baskets to start the second quarter. The Lady Hornets started looking to Loveless who responded with a 9-point quarter. Bryant gained the upper hand for good. A turnaround jumper for Loveless with 6:30 left in the half gave her team a lead it would not relinquish.
Deja Relaford fed Ratliff for a bucket and, later, Loveless made a steal that led to trip to the line. Her free throw made it 13-9.
Maumelle’s Kayla Freeman knocked down a 3 but Bryant scored the next 6 points including Ratliff’s 8-footer off a dish from Rogers.
McKenzie Smith interrupted for Maumelle but, in the final minute of the half, Rogers found Riley Hill open at the 3-point arc. Hill splashed it. With :06 left, Rogers got a layup off an inbounds play from Ratliff and the Lady Hornets were suddenly up 24-14 at the break.
Neither team could get much going into the third quarter, which ended with Bryant maintaining a 26-18 advantage.
The Lady Hornets opened the final period with a 12-1 run to put the game out of reach. Rayford made a steal and a free throw to get the scoring started. Loveless knocked down back-to-back shots including a 12-foot jumper as Rogers got another assist.
A layup by Rogers made it 33-18 and induced the second Maumelle timeout of the quarter.
When play resumed, Freeman broke the ice for Maumelle, hitting a free throw. But when Rogers canned a 14-footer with 2:43 left, Bryant had nearly doubled up Maumelle.
Matthews worked in his reserves after Kelly Williams hit a free throw.
Asked about the play of Loveless, Matthews said, “She does a good job getting in there, keeping position. We were able to get her the ball a little bit more today, a lot more than we did on Thursday.
“I think we’ve got some posts,” he related. “Robyn Gordon’s coming along. I think Allison Steen is coming along. That needs to be where we run our stuff through. We’ve got some kids — Riley hit a 3 today. Deja can shoot it, Paige can shoot it, Kalia Walker can shoot it a little bit. I think we’ve got some kids that can knock it down. We need to play inside out. That gives us an opportunity to play to our strengths.
“Kelly Williams had a real good night Thursday,” he added. “I thought her effort today was really good.
“More and more stuff to build on,” the coach concluded. “More and more stuff to go back and correct.”
The Lady Hornets will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at home against Greenbrier.
BRYANT 39, MAUMELLE 24
Score by quarters
Maumelle 7 7 4 6 — 24
BRYANT 6 18 2 13 — 39
Garmon 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 3-8 0-0 6, Camp 0-3 0-0 0, King 4-10 2-8 11, Robinson 0-1 1-3 1, Hopson 1-4 0-0 2, Freeman 1-8 1-3 4, McMiller 0-4 0-0 0, Allen 0-2 0-0 0, Gatmaiton 0-0 0-1 0, Brown 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 9-40 4-15 24.
Rogers 5-10 2-3 12, K.Williams 0-2 1-2 1, Loveless 4-6 5-8 13, Ratliff 3-8 0-0 6, Hill 1-3 0-2 3, Steen 0-3 0-0 0, Walker 0-4 2-2 2, Rayford 0-1 1-4 1, Gordon 0-2 0-0 0, Adams 0-1 1-2 1, T.Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Walters 0-0 0-0 0, Benton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-40 12-23 39.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-7 (Hill 1-2, Walker 0-3, Ratliff 0-1, Rayford 0-1), Maumelle 2-11 (Freeman 1-5, King 1-1, McMiller 0-2, Camp 0-1, Robinson 0-1, Allen 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 18, Maumelle 20. Rebounds: Bryant 12-21 33 (Loveless 6-6 12, Ratliff 1-3 4, K.Williams 0-4 4, Steen 0-4 4, Gordon 1-2 3, Hill 2-1 3, Rogers 1-0 1, Walker 0-1 1, Rayford 1-0 1), Maumelle 15-23 38 (King 5-7 12, Smith 2-5 7, Hopson 1-2 3, Freeman 1-2 3, McMiller 2-0 2, Robinson 1-1 2, Camp 0-1 1, team 3-5 8). Team fouls: Bryant 19, Maumelle 19. Fouled out: Bryant, Hill; Maumelle, Smith, Hopson, Freeman).