NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Raija Todd barely got to play due to foul trouble in the Bryant Lady Hornets’ 41-39 loss to Valley View on Thursday to open the OrthoArkansas/CAC Invitational Tournament at Central Arkansas Christian High School. But she made up for lost time on Friday night when Bryant played its second game in the tourney, pouring in 31 points to lead her team to a 75-61 win over the Maumelle Lady Hornets.
The last time a Bryant Lady Hornets team scored 75 was on Valentine’s Day 2012 in a 75-60 win over Conway. The last time Bryant scored more that 75 was on Jan. 22, 2010, in an 81-65 win over Cabot.
Now 3-1 this season, Bryant concludes play in the tournament this evening at 5 p.m., against the highly-regarded host team.
Destiny Martin added 13 points. Emily Ridgell, despite foul trouble, picked up 12. Annie Patton knocked down 8, Raven Loveless 6 and Kendal Rogers 5. Loveless, playing off the bench, finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Maumelle guards Kayla Woods-Gray, Kamri Summons and Daejha Woods rained down nine 3-pointers in the game but, after giving up 19 points in the first quarter, Bryant’s defense intensified and wound up forcing 30 turnovers to make up for a 44-35 rebounding deficit.
“I thought we were a little flat early,” said Bryant coach Brad Matthews. “We let them dictate tempo, dictate energy. We gave up 19 in the first quarter. You can’t do that. But we played better in the second quarter. I thought our defense was a little bit better.
“Destiny got out; Emily got out and made some plays,” he added. “Kendal got out and made some plays. For us to be successful going forward, we’ve got to have five kids on the floor working together to be good. It’s got to be possession by possession. I thought tonight there was more possession-by-possession stuff than there was last night.
“It was a good win. I thought, offensively, we were able to get into a rhythm. When you see the ball go in, it tends to breed confidence so, hopefully, we’ll start building on that as we go forward.”
“They have three really good guards and their post players are pretty good,” the coach noted. “Coach (William) Rountree has done a really good job in his first year over there. They are much, much, much improved. They’ve got kids that can play.
“They tried to extend and pressure us a little bit,” he said. “We consistently attacked and made enough buckets to have a much better offensive night that we did last night.”
The first two of Summons’ five 3’s sparked Maumelle to its early lead. It was 12-8 before Loveless scored on an inbounds pass and Todd hit a pair of free throws to tie it. Woods-Gray’s driving layup spurred Maumelle, which led 19-14 going into the second quarter and extended that to 20-14 with a free throw by Woods-Gray.
Todd drove for a bucket and, moments later, fed Rogers for a layup. A free throw from Loveless cut the margin to 20-19.
Shara Grant answered for Maumelle and, after Todd canned a 15-footer, Woods-Gray hit the offensive glass to make it 24-21.
But Bryant scored the next 7 points to take a lead. Todd drove for a basket then made a steal that led to a free throw by Rogers, knotting it at 24. Consecutive drives by Ridgell gave Bryant a 4-point edge.
But back-to-back 3’s from Woods and Summons pushed Maumelle back into the lead only to have Todd close out the scoring in the half with a 12-footer, tying it at 30.
To open the second half, Patton drained a 3 for Bryant and Woods-Gray answered for Maumelle. After a Bryant miss, the Lady Hornets forced a five-second call and Todd cashed in with a 3. Ridgell made a steal that led to an old-fashioned three-point play for Todd and the Lady Hornets were ahead to stay.
Summons scored back-to-back hoops to cut the lead to 2 and Maumelle had a chance to tie it. But Martin made a steal and got the ball to Todd to fed Ridgell for a layup, which started a 10-0 run.
Martin drove for a basket then canned a 12-foot jumper. Ridgell pulled down the carom from a Maumelle miss and fed Todd for a layup, making it 49-37.
Summons buried a pair of 3’s to end Maumelle’s drought but another three-point play for Todd and her steal of an inbounds pass and layup to beat the buzzer that ended the quarter, had Bryant up 54-43.
The lead grew to 13 before Maumelle cut it back to 9 going into the final five minutes of the game. Martin drove and dished to Loveless for a three-point play to stem the tide with 4:51 left and the lead was never less than 10 the rest of the way.
After a hoop by Grant, Martin fed Rodgers for an open 10-footer. Patton drove the baseline and hit a pull-up jay, following up with her second triple as the lead grew to 70-56.
Martin hit a free throw and Ridgell swiped the ball again, leading to a Martin layup. With 1:40 to go, Ridgell capped off Bryant’s scoring with a running jumper that made it 75-56.
Summons, who finished with 21 points, scored after that then Woods-Gray popped one last 3 in the final minute to set the final score. She had 17.
Matthews lauded the play of Todd, his sophomore guard.
“She played well,” he stated. “She got herself open a lot, was able to finish around the rim, hit some outside shots.
“Raven gave us some good minutes,” he pointed out. “Destiny, the last two nights, has done better than she did previously. She’s building and building. For us to be successful come January and February, we’re going to need her and everyone to keep getting better and more consistent doing what they can do.”
BRYANT LADY HORNETS 75, MAUMELLE LADY HORNETS 58
Score by quarters
Maumelle 19 11 13 15 — 58
BRYANT 14 16 22 23 — 75
MAUMELLE (2-2) 58
Woods-Grant 6-16 2-4 17, Summons 8-15 0-1 21, Grant 2-2 0-1 4, King 4-12 3-6 11, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Woods 1-8 0-0 3, Lockhart 0-0 0-0 0, Fryar 0-1 0-0 0, An.Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, Al.Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Hopson 0-1 0-0 0, Gatmaitan 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 (38%) 5-12 (42%) 58.
BRYANT (3-1) 75
Todd 13-30 4-4 31, Ridgell 6-13 0-0 12, Martin 6-8 1-4 13, Rogers 2-4 1-4 5, Patton 3-3 0-0 8, Loveless 2-6 2-7 6, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, R.Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-65 (49%) 8-19 (42%) 75.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-7 (Patton 2-2, Todd 1-3, Ridgell 0-2), Maumelle 9-22 (Summons 5-7, Woods-Gray 3-7, Smith 1-8). Turnovers: Bryant 12, Maumelle 30. Rebounds: Bryant 7-28 35 (Loveless 5-6 11, Martin 2-6 8, Ridgell 0-6 6, Patton 0-3 3, Todd 0-2 2, Rogers 0-2 2, R.Hill 0-1 1, team 0-2 2), Maumelle 14-30 44 (Summons 2-7 9, Woods-Gray 3-5 8, King 2-5 7, Smith 3-4 7, Grant 0-4 4, Woods 2-1 3, Fryar 0-1 1, team 2-3 5). Team fouls: Bryant 12, Maumelle 15. Fouled out: Maumelle, Smith.