Bryant knocks off Fillies
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
When the Bryant Lady Hornets, playing on their home floor, fell behind the Pine Bluff Fillies 9-2 at the start of their AAAAA-South Conference game Friday, Jan. 25, it eerily resembled the beginnings of their Jan. 4 game at home against the Sheridan Lady Yellowjackets. In the previous game, Sheridan had rushed to an 18-2 lead in the early going and, although the Lady Hornets played better than even after that, they absorbed their first loss of the conference season.
Pine Bluff, coming off a home loss to Sheridan for its lone setback in league play, appeared primed to assume the role of biggest threat to Sheridan with that early salvo that included 3-pointers by Tereal Mixon and Tanisha Reed.
The Lady Hornets, reminiscent of the Sheridan game, were missing shots they usually made.
The difference was, however, that Bryant’s intensity level picked up after 9-2 instead of 18-2 and the Lady Hornets, behind a stifling defensive performance in the second half, rallied for a convincing 48-33 win.
Bryant improved to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the league, alone in second place, behind only 5-0 Sheridan. Meanwhile Pine Bluff dropped to 8-7 and 3-2, tied with Lake Hamilton for third entering the final week of the first half of the conference’s home-and-home schedule.
Pine Bluff was held without a field goal in the second half until there was just 1:44 left in the third quarter. During the dryspell, the Lady Hornets turned a 20-16 halftime deficit into a 31-22 lead.
The Fillies scored just 13 points in the second half.
Jennifer Slack and Bree Mann each had 15 points for Bryant. Sophomore Yousra Elhagemoussa added 11 and junior Jeanne Randall added 7 to complete the team’s total.
Early in the game, it was Elhagemoussa that seemed to be the only one having any luck. She scored the only basket during Pine Bluff’s opening run then started Bryant’s initial rally with a pair of free throws after getting loose inside.
After Pine Bluff’s Tiffany Taggart misfired, Bree Mann hit a tough jumper in traffic inside. Randall followed with a steal and fed Slack for a layup that had the Lady Hornets within one. After a trade of turnovers, Slack followed her own miss to put Bryant ahead 10-9.
Both teams struggled offensively in the second quarter but, in the late going a basket by Miranda Turner and a three-point play in the final :10 by Kendra Brown supplied the Fillies with their 4-point halftime edge.
Mann hit a jump hook to start the scoring in the third quarter. After a turnover, Elhagemoussa pivoted in the post and ducked under a defender’s out-stretched arms for a basket to tie it at 20.
Carreba Williams’ two free throws gave Pine Bluff its last lead with 6:16 left in the period. Elhagemoussa answered with a nice move inside then Slack banked one in and the Lady Hornets were rolling.
Randall hit a free throw then a baseline jumper to up the margin to 27-22. Later, she added a steal that led to another layup for Slack. After another Fillies turnover, Slack fed Randall and it was 31-22.
Mixon’s 3 ended the Pine Bluff struggles momentarily and it was a 6-point game going into the final quarter. And Pine Bluff had several chances to get closer but couldn’t before Mann and Slack worked a give-and-go for a basket and a foul. Mann missed completing the three-point play but, tenaciously, the Lady Hornets scrambled to retain possession. Slack rebounded twice and was blocked twice. After the second attempt was swatted away, guard Rachel Blakley tracked down the deflection, whipped a pass to Mann, who found Elhagemoussa loose inside for a basket and another foul.
Though she missed the subsequent free throw, Elhagemoussa gave Bryant its first 10-point margin.
Brown scored for Pine Bluff to cut it to 8 but after Slack canned an 18-footer and Blakley made a steal that led to a layup for Mann, the lead was never less than 10. It eventually reached 16 in the late going as the Fillies staggered down the stretch.
Reed and Mixon were the Fillies leading scorers with 8 each.