Second-half spree results in romp over El Dorado
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 continueposting 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).
By ROB PATRICK
The Bryant Lady Hornets had a full week before they could get back on the floor following their disappointing home loss to the rival Sheridan Lady Jackets. And when the day finally came, it was the unfortunate El Dorado Lady Wildcats that were in their path.
The Lady Hornets rolled over a much-improved Lady Wildcats team, 62-41.
Anchored by the steadily terrific play of senior forward Bekka Middleton and sparked by the play of senior Tiffany Kennedy and sophomore Bree Mann, the Lady Hornets reeled off 11-2 and 14-2 streaks in the second half to break the game open.
Middleton scored 19 points and gathered 17 rebounds for her 21st consecutive game with a double-double. Mann added 13 points, 11 in the second half, while hitting the boards with a vengeance as well, pulling down 11 rebounds. Kennedy finished with 9 points including 6 during that initial second half run.
Candice Croy had 7 points for the Lady Hornets, all in the first half to help take some of the defensive heat off of Middleton inside where El Dorado camped out 6-2 Falundrus Sims, 6-0 Sarah Sullivan and, at times, 5-11 Kendra Stegall.
The Lady Hornets never trailed after Croy nailed a baseline jumper for the first points of the game. Still, it was just 9-7 when she knocked down another bomb from the corner. Joanie Robideaux followed up with a steal and a layup to make it 13-7.
After a flurry of turnovers, Sullivan popped a jumper from the corner to cut into the margin, but Croy countered with a 3. Sullivan scored again, but Middleton trumped her hoop with a three-point play to make it 19-11.
El Dorado rallied, however, and trailed only 21-16 at the end of the quarter.
The Lady Wildcats narrowed the margin to 3 in the second period but free throws by Middleton and Heather Atkins helped increase the lead to 29-22. Sullivan hit a driving jumper with 3:09 left in the half then neither team scored the rest of the period.
Sims hit a layup to start the second-half scoring, trimming the lead to 3 again but then the Lady Hornets took over, shutting down the El Dorado offense.
A pair of unanswered offensive-rebound baskets by Kennedy initiated the third-quarter blitz. El Dorado’s Meshali Mitchell interrupted with a 15-foot jumper before Mann hauled down an offensive board and drew a foul. Her free throw gave Bryant a 34-28 lead.
After Mitchell missed a 3-point try, Kennedy drove for a layup. The Lady Hornets then forced an El Dorado turnover and the Lady Wildcats’ head coach Brad Slatton asked for time to try to slow the Bryant run.
When play resumed, however, Mann ate glass on the offensive end again and was fouled on a follow shot. Her free throws upped the advantage to 10. Later, she added an eight-foot jumper to complete the streak.
The quarter ended with Bryant ahead 42-31.
The Lady Hornets then blew the game open. Meagan Clancy fed Middleton for a basket to start the fourth quarter. After an El Dorado miss, Mann collected another offensive board and earned a trip to the line where she converted once to make it 45-31.
Croy and Middleton combined on a steal and Middleton cashed in by stepping out for a 15-foot jumper. The Lady Wildcats’ April Curley and Kennedy traded misses but, after Kennedy’s attempt, there was Mann again. This time, she got a bucket and drew a foul. By completing the three-point play, she bumped the lead to 19.
Two more free throws by Mann and a 15-foot jumper by Kim Jacuzzi gave the Lady Hornets a commanding 54-31 lead.
The lead was never less than 19 the rest of the way as both coaches wound up emptying their benchs.