Clutch play by Slack, Mann lift Lady Hornets
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
CAMDEN — It hadn’t been the best of nights for Bryant Lady Hornets junior Jennifer Slack nor senior Bree Mann. Slack couldn’t get her shots to fall and Mann was sidled with foul trouble that she didn’t even really earn. (Her second foul was committed by a teammate but signaled to the official scorer mistakenly by the referee.)
The Lady Hornets’ top two scorers on the season came through, however, when their team needed them most. They combined to score Bryant’s last 21 points in a 23-point fourth quarter that produced a tough 61-56 road win over the Fairview Lady Cardinals Tuesday night.
The win improved the Lady Hornets to 16-3 overall (matching their total for wins in 2000-01), 5-1 in the AAAAA-South Conference, right on the heels of league-leading Sheridan, which became 6-0 with a win over Texarkana Tuesday.
Fairview, battling to get into contention for a playoff bid, fell to 12-7 and 2-4.
After leading for most of the game, the Lady Hornets found themselves trailing 52-47 with 2:20 left to play. Mann stepped up with a basket off the offensive boards then came through with a steal that eventually led to a tying 3-pointer by Slack, the Lady Hornets’ first of the game, with 1:20 to go.
Fairview had an answer, however, as Monica Williams drained a 15-foot jumper to put her team back ahead as the final minute began to unravel.
Slack, however, flushed a second 3 to put the Lady Hornets back on top 55-54.
Fairview’s Kelecia Haygood, who led her team with 20 points, missed a 3-point try in return and Mann rebounded.
The Lady Hornets nearly lost the ball with :30 left but a quick timeout by head coach Carla Crowder during a scramble for the ball saved the possession and, with :27 to go, Mann was fouled.
The senior calmly sank both free throws to increase the lead to 3.
The Lady Hornets forced a turnover and, with :17 to go, Mann went to the free-throw line again. This time, however, she missed the front end of the one-and-one only to have sophomore center Yousra Elhagemoussa contest the rebound, tapping the ball to Slack, who was fouled with :13.6 showing.
Slack converted twice to make it a two-possession game, 59-54.
With :06 to go, Fairview got a break when Charlsie McKinney was fouled. But she missed the front end. The rebound went to Fairview and, with :04 to go, Veronica Cargile gave her team a chance to tie it by converting twice at the line.
But all the Lady Hornets really had to do at that point was get the ball inbounds and let the clock run down. They got it to Slack who was fouled with :02.6 on the clock. She hit both shots to complete a 23-point night.
Mann added 16 points, Elhagemoussa 10, Jeanne Randall 6, Jamie Stephens 4 and Star Crow 2.
Bryant led for most of the game but could never get much separation from the Lady Cardinals. Fairview led the seesaw battled 11-10 with 2:50 left in the first quarter when Randall hit the offensive glass and was fouled. She converted twice to put Bryant back on top. Slack came up with a steal only to have Bryant turn it over. So Slack did it again and this time strolled in for a layup.
Mann blocked a shot at the other end, plucked the rebound out of the air and went coast-to-coast for a layup and a 16-11 lead.
After Haygood and Stephens traded buckets, Bryant led 18-13 going into the second quarter.
Bryant eventually built the lead to 6 on three occasions during the second quarter, the last time with 1:45 left, when Slack converted a one-and-one.
Fairview rallied, however, and trailed by just 2, 30-28, at the half.
And when Haygood scored off a lob to start the third quarter, the game was deadlocked.
The teams traded baskets until Elhagemoussa grabbed an offensive rebound, scored and was fouled with 3:07 left. When she had completed the third-point play, Bryant led 38-34.
But that didn’t last long. When Dianisca Ford hit a layup with :35 left, Fairview had taken the lead 39-38.
Slack fed Elhagemoussa for the first bucket of the fourth quarter.
A stick back by Slack made it 42-39 but Fairview tied it on a three-point play by McKinney. The teams swapped hoops until Haygood followed up a post-up bucket that gave her team a 49-47 lead, with a 3-pointer which produced the 5-point deficit that preceded the Lady Hornets’ winning surge.