By Rob Patrick
RUSSELLVILLE — When Taneasha Rhode picked up her second foul in the first quarter and[more] had to go to the bench, the Bryant Lady Hornets led the Russellville Lady Cyclones, 12-11. Free throws by Kaylee Weidower at that point gave the Lady Cyclones a 13-12 lead.
When Kiara Moore picked up her second foul, Bryant trailed 15-12 and it was still in the opening period. Though she didn’t go to the bench right away, she would come out a little later.
Dezerea Duckworth picked up her second foul in the second quarter then her third of the half when she came back in after some time on the bench.
That’s three of Bryant’s five starters and all prime scoring threats, which partly explains why, after Moore hit a 3 to start the second quarter scoring, trimming Russellville’s lead to 17-15, the Lady Hornets didn’t score the rest of the first half. The resulting 14-0 run by the Lady Cyclones proved to be decisive. Despite a Bryant comeback that whittled the lead down to 6 in the third quarter and back to 7 in the fourth, Russellville held on for a 57-40 win.
It was the third time this season that the Lady Cyclones have handed the Lady Hornets a loss. Bryant, now 13-10 overall and 5-5 in the 7A/6A-Central Conference, had absorbed losses to them at the Tournament of Champions in Fort Smith (61-37) in December, then at home (55-44) in January.
Russellville improved to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in the league. With four starters right around six-feet tall who can all shoot from 3-point range as well as put the ball on the floor and attack the hoop, the Lady Cyclones are a tough match-up for the Lady Hornets on both ends of the floor. Mary Carol Davis led Russellville with 14 points in the game. She was the third different player to lead the Lady Cyclones in scoring in the three contests against Bryant.
Kaylee Wiedower finished with 11 points, Natalie Shockey and Sarah Glover had 9 each. That’s the four six-footers. Shockey finished with 11 rebounds, Davis eight and Glover seven.
Duckworth led Bryant with 12 points, Moore had 10, Logan Davis 9 and Rhode 8. Davis and Rhode each collected eight rebounds.
“That was a poor, poor quarter offensively,” said Bryant head coach Brad Matthews regarding the second period. “I thought we got some shots we missed. I thought we started rushing some shots we missed, taking some — basically poor shot selection.
“Except for that three or four minutes, I thought we played with them for a great majority of the game,” he added.
In fact, after building a 31-15 halftime lead, Russellville only outscored the Lady Hornets 26-25 in the second half.
“It was almost déjà vu from the first time we played them,” Matthews noted. “I think they were up 12 at half the last time we played them. We cut it back. We’re in the game, making a run, playing well and we gave up a few chip shots down there.
“Russellville’s a really good team,” he noted. “I was proud of our kids for fighting back. They kept playing hard. They had a chance to shut it down in the third quarter but they didn’t. Hopefully that’s a sign we’re maturing. Hopefully, we can carry that over as we get ready for Conway.”
Bryant hosts Conway on Tuesday. Russellville travels to Van Buren.
Missed free throws hurt the Lady Hornets Friday. Through the first three quarters, they converted just 2 of 11 from the line.
That included four free throws at the very start of the second half which proved to be noteworthy because Bryant opened the half with a 9-0 run that trimmed the 16-point margin to 7.
The run started with a basket inside by Rhode off a feed from Duckworth. Rhode and Courtney Davidson combined to force a turnover and Logan Davis drove for a layup to make it 31-19.
After a Russellville timeout, a running left-handed jumper by Logan Davis continued the surge. Mary Carol Davis misfired at the other end and Duckworth cashed in with a 3-pointer to make it 31-24.
“The first possessions of the second half,” Matthews mentioned. “We got the ball between the blocks three possessions in a row and don’t get anything out of it. That was kind of the story of the second quarter as well, I thought.”
Wiedower’s jumper in the lane with 4:50 left in the period provided Russellville’s first points of the half. The Lady Cyclones pushed the lead back out to 11 before Duckworth drained another triple and Moore drove for a bucket that had the Lady Hornets within 36-30 with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Russellville responded with a 7-1 run. The Lady Cyclones led 40-31 going into the fourth quarter then Mary Carol Davis came up with a three-point play to push the lead to 12 as Moore picked up her fourth foul.
A free throw by Duckworth then four in a row by Rhode, who had gone 0 for 6 at the line up to that point, got the lead back down to 7. But Wiedower splashed a 3 and the Lady Hornets were never that close again.
Logan Davis hit a driving jumper to make it 46-38 but then, in short order, Moore and Rhode fouled out.
Over the final 4:50, the Lady Hornets went cold again, managing just one basket on a another running jay by Logan Davis, which only served to knock 2 points off of a 16-point lead.
Bryant led only briefly in the first quarter. Moore opened the game with a 3 but Russellville scored the next 6 points. It was 8-5 before Rhode scored inside for Bryant. The teams traded baskets when, after Mary Carol Davis hit one of two free throws with 2:29 left in the quarter, Duckworth bombed in a 3 to put her team ahead 12-11.
The Lady Hornets had a chance to increase the margin but a pair of missed free throws resulted so when Rhode picked up her second foul and Wiedower converted both free throws with 1:45 left in the period, the Lady Cyclones had the lead to stay.
LADY CYCLONES 57, LADY HORNETS 40
Score by quarters
BRYANT 12 3 16 9 — 40
Russellville 17 14 9 17 — 57
LADY HORNETS (13-10, 5-5) 40
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Duckworth 4-11 1-4 2-2 4 4 12
L.Davis 4-13 1-2 3-5 8 1 9
Davidson 0-4 1-2 1-1 2 3 1
Moore 4-15 0-1 1-3 4 5 10
Rhode 2-4 4-10 2-6 8 5 8
Hogancamp 0-2 0-0 0-2 2 0 0
Meyer 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0
Murphy 0-1 0-0 1-1 2 0 0
Allen 0-0 0-0 1-0 1 0 0
Weaver 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Team 2-3 5
Total 14-50 7-19 13-24 37 20 40
LADY CYCLONES (16-7, 7-3) 57
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Taylor 2-4 2-4 1-3 4 3 6
M.Davis 4-6 6-9 2-6 8 5 14
Wiedower 3-9 4-4 0-3 3 2 11
Shockey 4-9 1-2 4-7 11 2 9
Glover 4-12 0-2 3-4 7 3 9
Prohaska 3-10 2-3 1-3 4 1 8
Team 1-3 4
Total 20-50 15-24 12-29 41 16 57
Three-point field goals: Bryant 5-11 (Duckworth 3-3, Moore 2-5, L.Davis 0-2, Hogancamp 0-1), Russellville 2-13 (Glover 1-6, Wiedower 1-5, Taylor 0-2). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Russellville 9.