January 25 in Bryant athletic history: 2014

Lady Hornets come through in the clutch, trip Texarkana

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).

Photos by Kevin Nagle

Jakeria Otey fires off a drive inside on her way to 2 of her 18 points. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Jakeria Otey fires off a drive inside on her way to 2 of her 18 points. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

After leading by as much as 9 points in the fourth quarter, the Bryant Lady Hornets were clinging to a 40-38 lead in the final minute against the Texarkana Lady Razorbacks. Junior Jayla Anderson hit a free throw to make the lead 3 but missed the second try, which would’ve made it a two-possession game.

Texarkana guard Shaquenda Cooper who had fueled her team’s comeback, brought the ball across the time line but then inadvertently crossed paths with teammate Alexia Jefferson as the Lady Hornets applied a soft press. The ball got away and into the backcourt and it looked like Cooper would track it down and the Lady Hornets would gain possession.

Uncertain of that, however, Bryant junior guard Maddie Baxter raced Cooper to the ball. Both went to the floor after it, but Baxter wrestled the ball away, flipped it to teammate Erica Smith to the left of the top of the key. She turned and flipped to Anderson who, hustling all the way, was under the basket for a layup.

With the lead extended to 43-38, the Lady Hornets were able to close out the win by holding the Lady Backs without a point the rest of the way and despite missing four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

The 5-point victory improved the Lady Hornets to 2-3 in the South Conference with the two wins coming in the last three games, sandwiched around a strong performance in a late loss at Sheridan.

“Even though we lost Tuesday — and losing is never good — I thought we gained some confidence, playing at a tough place like Sheridan, playing well for the great majority of the game,” said Bryant coach Brad Matthews. “Tonight, we limited our turnovers and we were getting good shots. You know, when you make shots, it just relaxes the kids. I’m just proud that they’re hanging in there. It was a good win.”

Peyton Weaver knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 points in Friday's win over Texarkana. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Peyton Weaver knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 points in Friday’s win over Texarkana. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Despite being confronted with a taller team, the Lady Hornets were able to out-rebound Texarkana, a key in the coach’s view.

“I thought our kids really competed hard on the boards,” he asserted. “We still gave up a few but they’re so big and athletic and talented. I thought Aubree Allen really fought hard. All our kids fought hard on the boards. That’s what we have to do as a team to rebound. We have to have five people in there fighting and clawing and scrapping and rebounding as a team.

“We were able to get out in transition and a lot of that was due to our rebounding,” he added. “When we rebound, we can run.”

Junior point guard Jakeria Otey scored 9 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. That included some clutch free throws as the Lady Hornets spread the floor to try to eat up time. She was 7 of 9 in crunch time.

Peyton Weaver added 10 points including a pair of 3’s. The second of those opened the fourth quarter, adding to the Lady Hornets’ 26-23 lead, sparking the run that pushed the advantage to 9, the largest lead of the contest.

Anderson added 7, Allen 6 and Rachel Miller 2.

Texarkana opened the game with an 11-3 rush. Miller scored inside off a lob from Anderson to cut the advantage to 6 going into the second period.

Otey fed Anderson for a basket then Anderson dished to Allen for a basket and it was 11-9. A steal by Baxter gave the Lady Hornets a chance to tie it but that opportunity along with two others went for naught. Ashley Williams hit a 3 to re-extend the Texarkana edge but, moments later, Weaver found the range on her first triple.

Aubree Allen (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Aubree Allen (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Another theft by Anderson led to a layup for Otey as Bryant tied it. Cooper answered with a 3 then Weaver and Texarkana’s Morgan Norwood traded baskets. In the final :20, Anderson got another assist on a 10-foot jumper that Allen buried, making it 19-18 at the half.

When the third quarter started, Otey drove for a go-ahead bucket and followed up with a pair of free throws. Though they had chances to continue that surge, the Lady Hornets came up dry on three possessions before the Lady Backs’ Jasmine Allen hit a 3 to tie it at 22.

But Otey scored off a drive and Texarkana was never able to pull even again despite the late bid. Aubree Allen’s basket in the final minute of the third quarter made it 26-23.

After Weaver’s second 3 opened the final period, neither team could change the score until Cooper’s 15-footer found the bottom of the net with 5:13 left in the game. Otey hit a free throw and with 4:28 left, drove for another basket off a Texarkana miss, extending Bryant’s lead to 34-25.

Jasmine Allen ignited the Lady Backs’ rally with the second of her trio of 3’s in the game. When she hit the third of those with 1:19 left, it cut Bryant’s lead to 38-36. After a Bryant timeout, the Lady Hornets were cited for an illegal screen and Texarkana had a chance to tie or take the lead. But, at the other end, Anderson drew an offensive foul and, with 1:05 to go, Otey was fouled. Her free throw made it a two-possession game.

Cooper, who led Texarkana with 14 points, answered with a final two from the line to cut it to 40-38 and setting up the clinching series of events for the Lady Hornets.

Bryant travels to Lake Hamilton on Tuesday to continue league action.

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