Lady Hornets whip Hope at Shootout
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
BENTON — Bree Mann is a rock for the Bryant Lady Hornets basketball team.
When all around there is chaos, she always seems to be standing strong, under control and, inevitably there to pull down the key rebound or hit the big shot, pick up a loose ball, provide help on defense or beat the press.
Monday night in the Lady Hornets’ first round game against the Hope Lady Bobcats at the Wal-Mart Shootout at the Benton High School Arena, Mann’s performance was a perfect example.
Hope brought in a quick, aggressive and athletic team that was out of control most of the time. The game quickly turned into a ragged, full-tilt scramble. And the Lady Hornets, more often than not, got caught up in the mayhem. Between the two teams, there were 50 turnovers.
Mann, one of only two seniors on the Lady Hornets team (along with guard Jamie Stephens), remained cool. She was full-tilt, as always, but under control and it made a big difference as the Lady Hornets dispatched the Lady ‘Cats 59-45. Mann scored 20 points and hauled down 17 rebounds.
The win improved Bryant to 6-1 on the season and advances them to the winners bracket semifinals of the Shootout. They were set to play Cabot on Wednesday, Dec. 5, for a shot at the tourney title.
The Lady Hornets got 15 points and 7 boards from Jennifer Slack, who had a big second half off the bench.
The revelations of the game proved to be junior guard Haley Stobaugh and sophomore post Yousra Elhagemoussa.
Bryant coaches Carla Crowder and Mark Scarlett came into the season believing they had a good-shooting team that would produce a lot of 3-pointers. But shooting in practice is a little different than shooting in a game and those players, mostly without much experience, hadn’t found the range so far. But, against Hope, Stobaugh tapped into the potential, going 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, scoring all of her 11 points in the first half and busting Hope’s zone defense.
Elhagemoussa, coming off a strong defensive effort against Central Arkansas Christian star Adrienne Davie, struggled a bit with her shot early but gathered 11 rebounds and, with a strong second half, added 9 points.
Stobaugh scored 8 points as Bryant bolted to a 10-3 lead in the opening minutes. The Lady Hornets never trailed after overcoming an early 3-0 deficit.
Hope cut it to 12-9 late in the opening quarter but Slack nailed a 3 to make the margin 6 going into the second period.
The lead fluctuated from 5 to 7 for most of the second quarter as the teams traded baskets. But, after Elhagemoussa’s layup with 4:01 left, Hope’s Crystal Martin missed a pair of free throws and Megan Kennedy hit a jumper in to give Bryant a 24-15 edge.
Alicia Holland scored for Hope but Stobaugh nailed her third trey of the game to give her team its first double-digit lead. Holland scored again but, with time running out, Jeanne Randall whipped a sweet pass to Mann cutting across the lane for a buzzer-beating bucket to make it 29-19 at the half.
Hope cut the margin to 6 early in the third quarter but there was Mann getting open inside and earning a trip to the free-throw line. She converted once. Moments later, Hope turned the ball over and Mann grabbed the carom off a teammate’s miss and scored to make it 32-23. Randall came up with a steal that led to a layup by Slack and a 34-23 edge.
The lead eventually reached 16 during the quarter. It was 44-31 going into the final period.