FORT SMITH — Kevin Hunt pumped in 21 points and Romen Martin 17 as the Bryant Hornets bounced back from an opening loss at the annual Coke Classic at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith’s Stubblefield Center on Tuesday with a 55-41 win over the Charleston Tigers.
The Hornets had suffered a 63-55 loss to Pulaski Academy to begin the tourney on Monday. Now they’ll have a chance to win the consolation bracket when they take on Russellville at 2:45 this afternoon.
“I’m very proud of our team again for their effort,” stated Bryant head coach Mike Abrahamson. “Charleston is a big, physical team and we out-rebounded them by eight (30-22) and we forced them into 16 turnovers and several quick shots. They only shot 28 percent (8 of 29) in the second half and that speaks to our energy and execution defensively.”
The Hornets turned those turnovers in 24 points.
“Kevin Hunt was everywhere today,” Hunt related. “He had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Romen Martin continues to shoot the ball well and Lowell Washington had a major impact on the game today. He played very physical and sprinted the floor today. Calvin Allen had 5 assists and he has become such a threat offensively the last five games.”
Washington finished with 7 points and six rebounds. He also blocked a pair of shots. Allen and Antavious Lewis each had 5 points.
The Hornets shot 47 percent from the field (18-of-38) and went 12 of 20 from the free-throw line. They hit seven 3-pointers including four by Martin.
Andrew Smith was the only Charleston player in double figures with 19 points. Matthew Ward and Michael Ward each had 8.
Bryant managed a 10-7 lead by the end of the first quarter but Charleston put together a strong second period and held a 22-19 edge at the half. But the Hornets outscored the Tigers 16-6 in the third quarter to take a 35-28 advantage into the final period.