By Rob Patrick
HOT SPRINGS — On Saturday at the Spa City Shootout, the Bryant Lady Hornets played[more] close with the Mount St. Mary Belles then made the plays down the stretch to earn a 38-35 win that put them in the consolation bracket finals on Monday.
In that game on Monday, the Lady Hornets and the Clarksville Lady Panthers played close as well but, this time, it was Clarksville, particularly point guard Lauren Krissman, that made the plays down the stretch to extract a 50-44 win.
With 2:12 left to play, Bryant’s Courtney Davidson converted two free throws as the Lady Hornets reached the double bonus (10 fouls against Clarksville). At that point, the Lady Panthers’ head coach Randy Talley began to complain that Bryant had only been cited for two team fouls in the second half. The Lady Hornets, much as they did against Mount St. Mary when they got to the line 23 times to the Belles’ two on Saturday, got fouled more often because they were the aggressors, attacking the basket.
But Talley’s call was heeded. In quick order, the Lady Hornets were called for two fouls. Not only that but for the final 2:12, Clarksville was not called for another foul and Bryant didn’t shot another free throw.
As it turned out, Bryant needed to foul anyway because when Krissman knocked down a 12-foot jumper, Clarksville led 47-44 with 1:54 left to play. And, after a turnover, the Lady Panthers spread the floor and made Bryant chase and foul defensively. The Lady Hornets had to use up three fouls to get Clarksville in the bonus. It took until the :50.2 mark before the Lady Panthers went to the line for their first one-and-one.
Aubrey Schucker then proceeded to miss the front end giving Bryant a chance to cut into the margin if the rebound could be controlled. Unfortunately for the Lady Hornets, Clarksville’s Savannah Chenault knifed into the lane between two Bryant players and grabbed the carom. She got the ball to Krissman who was fouled with :42.3 left.
Though Krissman made only the first shot of the opportunity, it made it a two-possession game. Bryant head coach Brad Matthews called a timeout to set up a play. Getting the first open look, Lady Hornets’ senior Whitney Meyer fired up a shot from 12 feet that refused to fall.
Krissman was fouled again with :32.1 to go and obliged the Lady Hornets by missing the front end. Needing two baskets, Bryant rushed the ball up the floor and rushed a pair of shots. Logan Davis may have been fouled on her driving jumper but got no call. Davidson rebounded but was smothered as she tried to follow only to miss.
When Clarksville’s Cierra Graham rebounded and was fouled, there was just :08.7 showing on the clock. Graham sealed the win by connecting on both free throws.
Davidson led all scorers with 22 points including a 12 for 12 performance at the free-throw line. She also hauled down 12 rebounds.
It was frustrating game for the Lady Hornets’ other two leading scorers on the season. Dezerea Duckworth finished with 6 points and Davis had 5 as they combined to go 3 of 21 from the field. They also only shot four free throws between them, though both, particularly Duckworth, took the ball to the hole aggressively as she usually does. Davis meanwhile was also limited by foul trouble.
Erica Smith gave the Lady Hornets a lift off the bench with 6 points. Peyton Weaver hit a 3 and Jayla Anderson had a basket.
To go with Krissman’s 20 points, Schucker had 8, Chenault had 7 and Madison Talley 6.
Bryant led for much of the first half, getting out to an 8-3 start with Duckworth scoring all 6 of her points including a 3-pointer. Clarksville didn’t manage a field goal until Schucker’s basket inside over five minutes into the game.
It was 10-5 at the first break.
Duckworth lobbed inside to Smith who scored to start the second quarter. She would score again on an offensive rebound to make it 14-5, the largest lead for either team in the game with 6:02 left in the half.
Clarksville rallied behind Krissman who rattled in a 3 to start a 12-0 run, which produced a 17-14 advantage.
Davidson ended the run with a pair of free throws and followed up with a driving bank shot to put Bryant back up 18-17. But Talley’s 3 with :10 left in the half had Clarksville up by 2 at the break.
A three-point play by Davidson started the second half and the game became a seesaw affair. Chenault hit a jumper then Weaver buried a 3 from the top of the key. The game was tied at 26 before Carolyn Ward scored inside for Clarksville. But another three-point play by Davidson gave Bryant a 29-28 edge with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
That though was the last Bryant lead. Krissman hit a running jumper and, after a Bryant miss, nailed a 3. Clarksville built a 36-31 lead before Smith scored to make it a 3-point game going into the fourth quarter.
And the Lady Hornets pulled even. Krissman drove for a basket but Davis answered with a 3 then fed Anderson for a short jumper to knot it at 38 with 6:05 to go.
Bryant had two chances to take the lead thanks to some stifling defense. But, with 4:19 left to play, Talley hit her second 3 from the left corner to put Clarksville up for good.
The Lady Hornets kept it close. Kristen Scarlett fed Davidson for a basket but Schucker answered. Davis connected on a pair of free throws but Krissman kept her team ahead.
After that Davidson went to the line for one last time to cut it to 45-44 at the 2:12 mark.
The Lady Hornets, now 6-8 on the season, will try to bounce back this Friday when they host the rival Benton Lady Panthers in their 7A/6A-South Conference debut.
LADY PANTHERS 50, LADY HORNETS 44
Score by quarters
Clarksville 5 15 16 14 — 50
BRYANT 10 8 15 11 — 44
LADY PANTHERS 50
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Krissman 8-17 2-5 2-3 5 1 20
Talley 2-5 0-0 1-3 4 1 6
Graham 1-6 2-2 1-5 6 2 4
Schucker 4-8 0-1 2-4 6 1 8
Chenault 3-5 1-2 0-3 3 3 7
Ward 1-4 0-0 0-1 1 3 2
Ashlock 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Hurley 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 3 0
Banning 0-2 0-0 0-2 2 0 0
Little 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 3
Team 1-2 3
Totals 20-50 5-10 7-24 31 15 50
LADY HORNETS 44
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Duckworth 2-14 1-2 3-4 7 0 6
Davis 1-7 2-2 2-4 6 4 5
Davidson 5-15 12-12 3-9 12 4 22
Scarlett 0-0 0-0 1-1 2 0 0
Meyer 0-2 0-0 1-1 2 1 0
Weaver 1-3 0-0 0-3 3 2 3
Smith 3-5 0-3 2-1 3 1 6
Anderson 1-1 0-2 0-0 0 1 2
Team 1-1 2
Totals 13-47 15-21 13-24 37 13 44
Three-point field goals: Clarksville 4-18 (Krissman 2-5, Talley 2-5, Graham 0-3, Schucker 0-2, Banning 0-2, Ashlock 0-1), Bryant 3-11 (Davis 1-5, Duckworth 1-3, Weaver 1-2, Davidson 0-1). Turnovers: Clarksville 7, Bryant 12.