Lady Hornets dismiss 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
CAMDEN — With point guard Joanie Robideaux in street clothes on the bench with a lingering illness, the Bryant Lady Hornets returned to a taller lineup against the Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals Tuesday night.
And the Lady Cardinals couldn’t handle it.
Bekka Middleton scored 29 points on 13 of 15 from the field and 3 of 4 at the free-throw line to lead the Lady Hornets to a 67-53 victory at R.H. Shaddock Fieldhouse.
The Lady Hornets scored 32 points in the first half and 27 of those came from inside players, Middleton, Kim Jacuzzi, Bree Mann and Shannon Amos in an overpowering performance.
But it was a 3-pointer by guard Candice Croy just before the end of the first quarter that started a 13-0 run that put the Lady Hornets in control.
Bryant bounced back from its disappointing loss at home to Pine Bluff on Friday with the victory, improving to 4-2 in AAAAA-South Conference play and 13-7 overall. They are a game behind the three league leaders Sheridan, Pine Bluff and Little Rock McClellan (all at 5-1) going into the final game of the first round of the conference round robin. Bryant hosts Benton this Friday and, with a win, can pull even with at least one of the leaders since Pine Bluff plays at McClellan. Sheridan travels to El Dorado (3-3).
The Lady Hornets never trailed in Tuesday’s game. Middleton had her way inside, scoring the first 6 points as Bryant established its lead. Jacuzzi contributed an active first quarter. After Middleton had knocked down an offensive-rebound bucket, Jacuzzi, a 6-1 junior, made a steal and drove for a layup.
Over a four minute span of the first quarter, Fairview managed just four free throws and the Lady Hornets built a 16-6 lead. Middleton contributed two more hoops during that stretch and Mann got in on the scoring as well. Middleton, from the high post, fed Jacuzzi for a layup with 2:21 left in the period to complete the surge.
Fairview managed back-to-back baskets to trim the lead to 6 before Croy nailed the 3 that initiated another Bryant blitz.
Two free throws from Amos opened the second quarter scoring. Middleton stepped out to drill a 15-foot jumper and the Lady Hornets’ lead expanded to 23-10.
Free throws by Mann, a jumper from the wing by Croy and another layup from Jacuzzi bumped the margin to 19 by the 2:30 mark of the quarter.
Bryant’s halftime lead was 32-13.
The lead was never more than double digits in the second half even though Fairview scored the first 5 points. The third quarter was 2:10 old before Middleton’s layup provided the Lady Hornets with their first points of the half.
The Lady Cardinals managed to hand around for much of the quarter. They were still within 13 with 3:52 left but Middleton hit a turnaround jumper from the post, Meagan Clancy contributed a bucket, Mann hit two more free throws and Croy flushed a baseline jay to re-establish the 19-point margin.
An offensive-rebound basket by Andrea Gill, who scored all of her team-high 16 points in the second half, interrupted the run but Croy drilled a 3 with :10 left in the quarter to increase the margin to 22.
Moments later, the difference was 24 as Middleton popped another turnaround jumper to start the final period. That would be the Lady Hornets’ largest margin. It was the difference (61-37) with 4:47 left when Bryant head coach Carla Crowder pulled most of her starters.
With Gill scoring 12 of her points after that, Fairview was able to whittle it down to the final differential but the outcome was never in doubt as Tiffany Kennedy and Aleisha Joyce contributed baskets and Jacuzzi converted a pair of free throws down the stretch.