February 22 in Bryant athletic history: 2005

Lady Hornets whip Belles, nail down league’s third seed

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 continue posting 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).



LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornets will be the third seed from the AAAAA-Central Conference when the Class AAAAA State Tournament begins next week, thanks to a regular-season ending 53-32 thumping of the Mount St. Mary’s Belles.

Bryant takes a 21-6 record into the tourney. The Lady Hornets went 9-5 in conference play. They will open on Wednesday, March 2, at 7 p.m., against t he No. 2 team from the AAAAA-East, most likely West Memphis.

Against Mount St. Mary’s, the Lady Hornets scorched the nets at a 55 percent clip (21 of 38). Their worst shooting quarter was the first when, despite going 4 for 12 from the field, they whipped up an 11-5 lead. Amanda Grappe had 4 on her way to a game-high 17 points and Allison Grappe had 4 of her 5 points in the game.

In addition, Bridgette McPeak contributed a three-point play to start a night in which she went 7 of 8 from the field for a season-high 15 points.

Bryant forced eight Belles turnovers in the second quarter on the way to taking control of the game. Kaci Melhorn scored all 6 of her points in the quarter including a three-point play with 2:50 left in the half that bumped Bryant’s lead to 21-9.

That came on the heels of a jumper by McPeak. Amanda Grappe followed with a steal, earning a trip to the free-throw line where she converted twice. Kalin Dreher then blocked a shot and pulled down the deflection, one of her game-high nine rebounds. Amanda Grappe was fouled at the other end and hit a free throw to make it 24-9. A layup by Amanda increased Bryant’s lead to 17.

It was 28-11 at the half.

Dreher scored off a nice feed from Amie Hubbard to start the second half. A steal by Allison Grappe led to a layup by McPeak and it was 32-11.

After a Mount St. Mary’s timeout, Vicki Flynn hit a pair of free throws for the Belles only to have McPeak and Amanda Grappe follow with consecutive hoops giving Bryant its largest lead of the game, 34-13.

Behind Meagan Uekman, the Belles managed to cut the lead back to 17 in the final minute of the third period. But Dreher beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to make it 42-22 going into the fourth quarter.

Bryant led 46-29 going into the final five minutes of the game. Amanda Grappe hit a layup then, after a Mount miss, posted up for a bucket to make it 50-29 and Bryant head coach Rhonda Hall started going to the bench.

In the closing moments, Jessie Sutton made a steal that led to a free-throw opportunity for Caitlin Cato. Later, Brittany Grant canned a 16-foot jumper to set the final margin.

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