Lady Hornets bounce back from first league loss, dump Fairview
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
Under normal circumstances, the intensity level of the Bryant Lady Hornets, co-leaders of the AAAAA-South Conference, wouldn’t necessarily been at a peak with the cellar-dwelling Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals coming to town. But on Tuesday, in the wake of their first league loss at Pine Bluff and the news that 6-1 senior center Kim Jacuzzi will be out for an extended time with a stress fracture in her foot, the Lady Hornets hit the floor with an edge.
Fairview was never in the game as the Lady Hornets rushed to a 17-3 lead at the outset and cruised to a 67-40 victory.
The Lady Hornets retained a share of the conference lead at 5-1 with the win. They improved to 12-4 overall going into the last game of the first half of the league round robin this Friday at Benton.
Joanie Robideaux, frustrated without a point in the Pine Bluff debacle, rebounded with a 25-point effort against Fairview including 11 in the first quarter when the Lady Hornets built a 24-7 lead. Robideaux, who earlier this season hit eight 3-pointers in a game at Greenbrier, hit six treys versus the Lady Cardinals.
Junior forward Bree Mann, over the illness that plagued her at Pine Bluff, added 14 points despite some foul trouble and sophomore guard Rachel Blakley added a career-high 13 that included a 9-of-11 performance at the free-throw line. Candice Croy pitched in with 9 points including 6 of 6 at the line.
For the game, Bryant converted 24 of 30 free throws.
Mann, in Jacuzzi’s absence working as a kind of forward and post player usually with four guards in the lineup, got the game-opening blitz under way. Robideaux took advantage of a Fairview turnover to get a pair of free throws.
The Lady Hornets, who converted 14 of their first 15 attempts at the line in the contest, got two more from Blakley to make it 6-0 then Croy made a steal and got the ball to Mann who fed Jennifer Slack for a layup and an 8-0 start that forced Fairview’s first-year coach Edgar Cooper to call timeout.
When play resumed, Blakley and Robideaux combined on a steal but the Lady Hornets failed to take advantage this time. Fairview’s Alecia Gulley hit a 10-foot jumper to get her team on the board with 5:44 left in the opening quarter.
Robideaux trumped that with a 3. After the Lady Cardinals’ Veronica Cargile hit a free throw, Croy and Robideaux drilled back-to-back triples to make it 17-3.
Kortina Satterwhite scored after grabbing an offensive rebound then Bryant committed a turnover to give the Lady Cards a chance to cut into the lead further but Robideaux made a steal and fed Blakley for a layup.
Fairview’s Monica Williams hit two free throws but Robideaux bombed in her third trey of the quarter and, before the stanza was complete, Mann canned a reverse layup to make it 24-7.
Bryant’s lead was never less than double digits after that. It was 36-21 at the half.
The second half started sloppily for both teams and Bryant head coach Carla Crowder called a timeout when neither team had scored in the first 1:40 of the third period.
Still, neither team could break the ice until Fairview’s Charlsie McKinney hit a 3. After Williams blocked a Robideaux attempt, Lashunda McCoy scored inside to trim Bryant’s lead to 10.
Halfway through the period, Bryant had yet to score. Robideaux rekindled the flame, however, with back-to-back 3’s and a pair of free throws to bump the margin back up to 44-26.
Fairview was never as close again. Robideaux wound up hitting another trey just before the end of the quarter, giving Bryant a 49-31 bulge going into the final eight minutes.
The Lady Cards were as close as they would get when McKinney hit a 3 with 2:53 left to cut the margin to 52-38. Blakley’s three-point play helped stem the tide. Mann added a driving layup and Croy hit two free throws as the lead ballooned to 20 with 1:20 to go.
Fairview’s Kelecia Haygood scored with 1:07 to go and that was the last of it for Fairview. Bryant hit 7 of 8 free throws after that and Mann capped the win with a last-second layup.