FORT SMITH — Coming off a double-overtime war with the El Dorado Wildcats, the Bryant Hornets overcame a 31-point performance by Charleston’s Brandon Fenner to earn a 75-66 victory at the annual Coke Classic at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on Friday.
Romen Martin fired in 18 points and Lowell Washington added 10 to lead the way. Calvin Allen and Marvin Moody each had 9, Braylen Steen and Kaleb Turner 8 apiece. Christian McIntosh pitched in with 7, Sam Chumley 4 and Deron Canada had 2. Steen finished with eight rebounds, Washington six.
The Hornets converted 20 of 28 free throws in the game.
“Offensively, I thought we played well,” said Hornets coach Mike Abrahamson. “We scored 75 points. We’re not shooting 3’s well right now, last night or today. We were 3 for 18 yesterday from 3 and 1 for 7 today from 3. But we’re getting to the basket well. We’re getting to the free-throw line.”
The Hornets broke out to a 17-8 lead by the end of the first quarter but Charleston rallied with a 26-point second quarter to trim the margin to 35-34 at the half. It was 57-46 going into the fourth quarter.
“We had a horrible second quarter,” Abrahamson said. “We were putting them on the line a lot. I thought, defensively, we did a lot of good things but we fouled too much.
“In the first quarter, that didn’t show up that much but in the second quarter they were in the bonus, the double bonus really early and they shot a ton of free throws and made them,” he noted.
For the game, however, the Tigers were 15 of 19 from the line including Fenner’s 10 for 10.
“He could start for any team in the state,” stated Abrahamson. “He played good against us last year. He can do it all. He can drive and he can shoot it. He made a lot of tough shots and some deep 3’s but we wore him out. We made it hard on him. By the end of the game, he was tired and bent over. He earned all 31 of his points.”
The Hornets improved to 10-2 on the season with the victory.
“To me, the main thing is you play well,” Abrahamson concluded. “You do everything you can do the right way.”
The Hornets wrap up the tourney on Friday at 2:45 p.m., against the Little Rock Hall Warriors.