GREENWOOD — In kind of an odd game, the Bryant Lady Hornets and the Greenwood Lady Bulldogs struggled to find the bottom of the net. So much so that one had to wonder if the rims were bent or askew.
The Lady Bulldogs shot 22 percent from the field (11 of 49) and the Lady Hornets shot 21 percent from the field (9 of 42). In fact, to start the game, Greenwood missed its first 16 shots.Bryant missed all nine of its shots from the field in the opening quarter but held a 4-2 lead going into the second period on the strength of free throws by Raija Todd and Raven Loveless.
Greenwood’s first basket came with :13 left in the quarter, a drive to the rack by Kaila Cartwright.
Both teams missed shots to start the second period before Bryant’s Emily Ridgell made a steal and fed Todd for a basket to make it 6-2 with 7:18 left in the half.
Cartwright added a free throw then Ridgell drained a 3 to make it 9-3. Sara Reeves scored for Greenwood with 4:23 left in the half then the Lady Bulldogs couldn’t score the rest of the quarter. On baskets by Loveless and Kendal Rogers and a free throw by Loveless, the Lady Hornets led 14-5 at the half.
That’s right. They held Greenwood to 5 points in the first half. Yet, the Lady Bulldogs won, 36-32 as six of their nine field goals in the second half were 3’s. Four by Kaitlyn Summit and two by Kiyah Julian.
Despite just scoring 4 points in the third quarter, the Lady Hornets had a shot right down to the end. On a night when the Bryant fans felt there weren’t enough fouls called on the Lady Bulldogs, there was one last thing that went against the Lady Hornets.
Trailing 34-32 after Ridgell had converted a free throw with :17.1 left, Bryant got a timeout to set up its defense. On the inbounds play, Destiny Martin forced a held ball. Possession was erroneously given to Greenwood, which had possessed the previous held ball with 7:21 left in the game.
So, with :11 left, instead of Bryant having the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead with a 3, Greenwood kept the ball and the Lady Hornets were forced to foul. UCA signee Maddie Goodner, who had been held to just 4 points in the game to that point, went to the line. With :30.8 to go, Goodner had missed the front end of a one-and-one. But this time, the senior knocked down both shots to put the game out of reach for Bryant, which suffered another in a line of heartbreaking losses.
“Summit hits some big shots,” acknowledged Bryant head coach Brad Matthews. “Two in the fourth quarter. She was the difference in the game.”
The lead had sees awed in the fourth quarter. Free throws by Ridgell had the Lady Hornets up 29-28, taking their turn at the lead. This time, however, Greenwood didn’t counter. Though Todd missed.a shot to take advantage of a turnover, Martin made a steal and was fouled with 1:33 to go.
So when she converted both free throws, the Lady Hornets had a 31-28 lead. But that’s when Summit struck. Her 3 with 1:18 left, tied it. Bryant suffered a turnover on a hotly disputed call. Todd had driven into the lane and was attacked from both sides. Bryant fans hollered for a foul but they were letting them play most of the night. The official ruled, however, that Todd had traveled.
Moments later, Summit fired in another 3 to put her team ahead to stay. After a Bryant timeout, Goodner made a steal but missed the free throw with :30.8 left. That led to Ridgell’s trip to the line after she tried to follow her own miss with :17.1 left.
“I thought we defended their two best players, Julian and Goodner, really well,” Matthews said. “I thought Emily and Raija did a real good job defensively.Considering the size differential, I thought we rebounded well for the most part.
Julian finished with 9 points and Goodner 6. Erin Black, who scored 14 against the Lady Hornets the first time the two teams played in Bryant on Jan. 8, was held scoreless. The Lady Bulldogs’ advantage on the boards was just 41-36. Ridgell, who scored 11 points for Bryant, had seven rebounds.
“We just didn’t make enough plays on the offensive end to win,” he continued. “You’ve got to be able to make plays on the offensive end and we struggled with that. I’ve got to do a better job of getting us into position to make shots.”
Even though Greenwood got on track in the third quarter, the Lady Hornets didn’t relinquish the lead until the final two seconds. The Lady Bulldogs trimmed it to 14-9 but Martin drove the baseline for a basket to keep the Lady Hornets ahead.
With the help of Summit’s first 3, the lead was whittled to 16-14 but an offensive-rebound basket by Rogers and the Lady Hornets up by 4 going into the final minute. That’s when Summit knocked down another 3 and, after a Bryant miss, so did Julian to put the Lady Bulldogs up 20-18 going into the fourth.
Rachael Miller’s offensive rebound basket tied it at 20. A free throw by Julian snapped the tie and, moments later, she stuck another triple to make it 24-20.
Ridgell’s 3 cut it to 1. She would add two free throws with 4:32 left to put Bryant back on top 25-24.
Cartwright converted two free throws then Martin scored off a drive as the team’s traded the lead. Julian scored and that set up Bryant’s push to build a 3-point advantage.
Bryant returns to action on Tuesday at home with a crucial game against 7A conference foe Mount St. Mary.
LADY BULLDOGS 36, LADY HORNETS 32
Score by quarters
BRYANT 4 10 4 14 — 32
Greenwood. 2. 3. 15. 16 — 36
LADY HORNETS (7-12, 2-6, 1-2) 32
Todd 1-18 2-2 4, Ridgell 2-12 5-8 11, Martin 2-3 2-2 6, Rogers 2-3 0-3 4, Miller 1-3 0-0 2, Loveless 1-2 3-4 5, Patton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 9-42 (21%) 12-19 (63%) 32.
LADY BULLDOGS (10-11, 4-4, 1-2) 36
Julian 3-9 1-2 9, Goodner 2-10 2-3 6, Summit 4-10 0-0 12, Cartwright 0-6 3-4 3, Black 0-3 0-0 0, Reeves 2-8 2-4 6, Rozell 0-3 0-0 0, Pfeifer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-49 (22%) 6-13 (46%) 36.
Three-point field goal: Bryant 2-14 (Ridgell 2-6, Todd 0-7, Patton 0-1), Greenwood 6-16 (Summit 4-6, Julian 2-4, Goodner 0-3, Rozell 0-2, Cartwright 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 10, Greenwood 10. Rebounds: Bryant 12-24 36 (Ridgell 2-5 7, Miller 2-5 7, Rogers 3-3 6, Martin 0-5 5, Loveless 3-2 5, team 2-4 6), Greenwood 16-25 41 (Julian 4-5 9, Cartwright 3-3 6, Goodner 0-5 5, Summit 1-4 5, Reeves 2-2 4, Black 2-1 3, Pfeifer 0-2 2, team 4-3 7). Team fouls: Bryant 13, Greenwood 13. Fouled out: Greenwood, Julian.