Lady Charging Wildcats escape with win over Lady Hornets

For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here; by Rick Nation, go here

Tierra Trotter (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Though they couldn’t quite turn the tables, the Bryant Lady Hornets made the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats earn just about everything they got on Tuesday night.

In fact, with 3:58 left in their game at the Hornets’ Nest, the Lady Hornets were within 57-51 against the same team that ripped them, 83-54, in North Little Rock on Jan. 22.

But that was as close as Bryant could get as the Lady Charging Wildcats held on for a 70-60 win.

North Little Rock’s 6-4 freshman Amauri Williams scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the victors. Kennedy Tucker had 18 and De’Myla Brown 11.

Bryant was led by Kalia Walker, who had 19 including five 3-pointers, and Tierra Trotter with 18. Robyn Gordon had 9.

Walker, Gordon and Allison Steen, the three seniors for the Lady Hornets this season were honored after the game on Senior Night.

North Little Rock improved to 16-9 overall and 10-3 in the 6A-Central Conference. Bryant fell to 15-9 and 6-7 going into their regular-season finale at Conway on Friday. The Lady Hornets could still be a 4 or a 5 seed for State.

India Atkins (11) gets tied up with Jordyn Neal. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

On 3-pointers by Walker and Trotter, the Lady Hornets surprised the Lady Cats by staking out an early 6-0 lead. But, after North Little Rock made that up with a 13-0 run in the first quarter, Bryant just couldn’t get all the way back to the lead.

“We never could quite get all the way there,” acknowledged Bryant coach Brad Matthews. “It was a very talented team we played. I thought the kids fought really hard. We had a really tremendous effort. Give North Little Rock credit. Every time we made a run, they had an answer. They’re just really, really talented offensively.

“I thought it was really important that we got off a really good start,” he noted. “I thought we did that. And that gave us a chance to stay in the game. We were able to keep them out of rhythm the first quarter or quarter and a half. Even then they scored a lot. When they’re playing well, they really score the ball well.”

Ivory Russ attacks the basket. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Trailing 13-6, the Lady Hornets got going again when Steen fed Gordon for a basket. After Tucker hit two free throws, McKenzie Muse scored to make it 15-10. But, at the end of the quarter, North Little Rock held a 17-10 edge.

The lead grew to 13 points at 25-12 and 27-14 early in the second quarter. It was 29-16 when Walker busted her second triple of the game. Brown answered with a trey then Ivory Russ drove for a basket. A free throw by Bryant and another by Zoe Adebayo made it 34-21 but Walker splashed a buzzer-beating 3 to make it a 10-point game at the intermission.

“Going into the game, we knew we couldn’t give up a ton of transitions,” Matthews said. “We still did that some. They’re so good at transition.

“We had two or three runs at them,” he noted. “To their credit they always had an answer. The big 6-4 kid (Williams) was very, very good tonight. She did a good job of asserting herself and making plays when they needed her too.”

Kalia Walker (Photo by Rick Nation)

As they had, to open the game, the Lady Hornets started the second half well. Trotter drove for a layup then so did Walker. Tucker answered for North Little Rock but when Gordon stepped out and nailed a 3, the Lady Hornets had cut the lead to 36-31.

Jordyn Neal hit a jumper for the Lady Cats, but Trotter countered. Tiona Mackey hit a layup then, off a Bryant miss, Tucker popped a 3 to push it to 43-33.

Trotter’s 3 kept the advantage under 10 for the moment but the Lady Cats pushed it to 51-38 going into the final eight minutes.

It was 55-40 with 7:02 to play, North Little Rock’s largest lead. Gordon scored inside then Atkins made a steal and followed her own miss to cut it to 11. 

The Lady Cats went to Williams inside and she scored but Walker drained another 3, Muse made a steal and Gordon cashed in. Atkins made another theft and wound up the at the free-throw line where she converted twice to make it 57-51.

McKenzie Muse eyes a free throw. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Though the Lady Cats struggled to put Bryant away, the Lady Hornets were never able to get as close again.


Score by quarters

North Little Rock         17        17        17        19 — 70

BRYANT                       10        14        14        22 — 60


Neal 4-5 0-0 8, Freeman 3-5 0-1 6, Brown 3-8 4-7 11, Tucker 4-10 8-8 18, Williams 6-7 9-9 21, Mackey 2-3 0-0 5, Duckworth 0-0 0-0 0, Foster 0-0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0-1 0-0 0, Carnagie 0-0 0-0 0, Adebyo 0-0 1-2 1. Totals:22-39 (56%) 22-27 (81%) 70.

LADY HORNETS (15-9, 6-7) 60

Trotter 7-14 2-4 18, Walker 6-14 2-2 19, Steen 0-4 0-0 0, Gordon 4-7 0-1 9, Muse 1-3 2-2 4, Martin 0-1 0-1 0, Atkins 2-8 2-2 6, Russ 2-6 0-2 4. Totals:22-57 (39%) 8-14 (57%) 60.

Three-point field goals:Bryant 8-25 (Walker 5-11, Trotter 2-7, Gordon 1-1, Steen 0-2, Muse 0-2, Martin 0-1, Russ 0-1), North Little Rock 4-13 (Tucker 2-5, Brown 1-5, Mackey 1-2, Neal 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant 20, North Little Rock 14. Rebounds:Bryant 18-14 32 (Gordon 4-2 6, Martin 3-2 5, Steen 2-2 4, Muse 2-2 4, Atkins 4-0 4, Walker 2-1 3, Russ 0-1 1, team 1-2 3), North Little Rock 3-22 25 (Williams 1-5, Tucker 1-4 5, Freeman 0-4 4, Brown 1-2 3, Mackey 0-2 2, team 0-5 5). Team fouls:Bryant 17, North Little Rock 17.

Robyn Gordon (Photo by Rick Nation)

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