Lady Hornets sparked from different sources
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
With senior leader Bree Mann slowed by illness and junior leader Jennifer Slack drawing a considerable amount of defensive attention for the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils, the Bryant Lady Hornets needed a lift.
Jacksonville, which came in with a 6-1 record, held the upper hand on the Lady Hornets for most of the first half and deep into the third quarter before sophomore Dani Sutton and senior Jamie Stephens stepped up to hit some clutch outside shots. Bryant rallied for a 47-43 win to improve to 10-1 on the season and run their winning streak to five games going into the annual Bryant Holiday Classic which they open with a game against Van Buren on Thursday, Dec. 27.
Bryant head coach Carla Crowder tried to go as long as she could without the ailing Mann, but inserted her in the lineup as the Lady Hornets trailed 14-7 with 4:25 left in the half.
With Slack converting four free throws around a driving layup by Jacksonville’s slick guard Rachel Townsend, the Lady Hornets crept closer. Mann canned a jumper in the lane then, after a Jacksonville turnover, hit the offensive boards for another bucket, cutting the lead to 16-15.
But the Lady Hornets just couldn’t get over the top. They trailed by 3 at the half, then traded baskets with the Lady Devils deep into the third quarter.
Mann tied it at 22 with a free throw with 4:37 left in the third only to have Jacksonville answer. But, when Sutton nailed a 3 from the corner with 3:22 to go in the period, Bryant had its first lead of the game, 25-24.
The Lady Hornets never trailed again.
Townsend followed Sutton’s trey by missing one from long range. In turn, Stephens buried a baseline jumper to up the ante. Jacksonville managed to pull even before the quarter was over but another baseline jumper by Stephens then a buzzer-beating 3 from the senior guard gave the Lady Hornets a 32-27 edge going into the fourth quarter.
A steal by Mann led to a 15-foot jumper by Rachel Blakley and a 7-point Bryant advantage as the fourth unfolded.
Jacksonville surged within 3 but sophomore Yousra Elhagemoussa who came through with 10 points and 11 rebounds to help take up some of the slack, hit a pair of clutch free throws to regain some of the momentum for the Lady Hornets.
Nakelya Moragne hit a short jumper for Jacksonville but Elhagemoussa grabbed an offensive rebound, moments later, and scored. Moments later, Slack made a steal and fed Sutton who nailed a jumper from the corner to make it 40-33.
Townsend misfired and, at the Bryant end, Elhagemoussa grabbed another offensive carom and scored to make it a 9-point game.
The lead was 10 when Mann hit 3-of-4 free throws on consecutive trips up the floor. A basket by Townsend kept Jacksonville’s faint hopes flickering with :23 left. With :20 to go, Jeanne Randall was fouled only to miss the front end of the one-and-one. But Mann, who had 8 points and 10 rebounds after entering the game, collected the rebound. The Lady Hornets worked the clock down to :12 before Blakley was fouled. She was able to convert both ends of the one-and-one to seal Jacksonville’s fate despite a pair of late 3-pointers that served only to tighten the final score.
Stephens finished with 9 points. Sutton had 7, all in the second half, as did Slack, who had all of hers in the first half.