NORTH LITTLE ROCK — For the second game in a row on the second day in a row, the Bryant Lady Hornets overwhelmed an opponent to such an extent that the sportsmanship rule (a running clock) went into effect at the start of the fourth quarter. The “mercy rule” kicks in when one team has at least a 30-point lead in the fourth quarter.
On Friday, the Lady Hornets had the Maumelle Lady Hornets down 61-27. On Saturday, it was the Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals. Bryant held at 46-12 lead after three quarters on the way to a 49-17 win.
The Lady Hornets improved to 2-3 on the season, going 2-1 in the annual OrthoArkansas/CAC Invitational Tournament at Central Arkansas Christian Academy’s Mustang Mountain. Bryant opened the tourney with a highly competitive 49-40 loss to the highly-regarded host team.
On Tuesday at 4 p.m., they jump into play at the annual Bank of the Ozarks/John Stanton Memorial Wampus Cat Invitational in Conway against the Little Rock Hall Lady Warriors.
Bryant and Fairview were tied 4-4 early in Saturday’s contest. But the Lady Hornets then went on a 32-3 blitz the rest of the half. The Lady Cardinals managed just five field goals over the final six minutes of the first quarter and for the rest of the game. They did not score in the second quarter and Bryant led 36-7 at the half.
“I thought our half-court defense was much better today,” said Lady Hornets coach Brad Matthews. “I thought we were able to put a lot of pressure on the ball but yet still keep it in front of us.”
Senior guard Jakeria Otey led all scorers with 17 points, 15 of that in the first half. Raija Todd added 12 including 11 in the first half. Lauren Carroll finished with 6 points, Destiny Martin 4. Emily Ridgell, Cayla McDowell and Kendal Rogers each pitched in with 2 and Annie Patton contributed a free throw. Riley Hall scored 3 points in the fourth quarter. Sixteen players got in the game for Bryant.
“I thought Lauren Carroll, defensively, did a good job on the (Crystal) Williams kid with (Central Arkansas Christian) Thursday night; did a good job on Maumelle’s best player (Friday); and did a good job today,” Matthews related. “She’s become a really good defender, somebody we can really trust to put on the other team’s best player.
“I thought, offensively, Jakeria and Raija are looking more and more like they do in practice,” he continued. “This isn’t something we don’t see. We see it in practice. We’ve just got to get them to consistently bring it to the game. I think, over time, we’ll hopefully get more and more and more consistent and just keep improving as well.”
The Lady Hornets’ first-half roll began with Otey snapped the 4-4 tie with a pull up jumper at the 6:02 mark of the opening period. Carroll added a free throw and, when she missed the second shot, Martin chased down the rebound. Matthews called a timeout to retain possession when Martin got trapped but, when play resumed, Otey drilled a turnaround jumper in the lane and Todd drilled an 18-footer after a Fairview turnover to make it 11-4.
A minute later, Otey made it a 9-point lead before Fairview’s Jalissa Avery interrupted by knocking down a 15-footer. After a Bryant miss, the Lady Cardinals’ Chantry Ross attacked the basket only to have McDowell reject her shot, leading to a three-point play by Otey at the other end, making it a double-digit lead for the first time with 1:50 left in the first quarter.
Moments later, the Lady Hornets went inside out, getting it to McDowell in the post. She relayed it back out to Todd who fired in a 3.
Avery hit a free throw with :04.3 left in the period to make it 19-7 and, as it turned out, that was the last the Lady Cardinals would score until Kaylen Heard hit a 3 nearly two minutes into the second half.
Carroll drove for a layup and, after a steal by Maddie Baxter, scored off the offensive rebound and scored to make it 23-7. Patton added a free throw after claiming an offensive rebound.
With 3:17 left, Todd scored inside and Otey made a steal and drove for a basket. Another theft by Otey led to a layup for Rogers and a 30-7 lead that induced a timeout by Fairview.
Before the half was over, Otey added two free throws, Todd followed her own miss for another deuce and McDowell corded a turnaround jumper in the lane to cap things off.
Todd would add a free throw in the second half before Heard ended Camden Fairview’s scoring drought.
Before she scored again with :38 left in the third, however, Carroll and Ridgell hit free throws, Otey drained a 12-footerand Martin drove for a pair of baskets to make it 46-12 going into the fourth quarter.
Bryant’s largest lead was 49-14 when Hill hit an eight-footer and, after a pair of missed free throws by Avery, took a feed from Anna Turpin and was fouled driving to the basket. That resulted in a final free throw and the 35-point lead.
Fairview scored the last 3 points.
LADY HORNETS 49, LADY CARDINALS 17
Score by quarters
BRYANT 19 17 10 3 — 49
Fairview 7 0 5 5 — 17
LADY HORNETS 49
Otey 7-11 3-3 17, Carroll 2-5 2-5 6, Baxter 0-0 0-0 0, Todd 5-8 1-2 12, Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Martin 2-2 0-0 4, Ridgell 0-4 2-2 2, McDowell 1-3 0-0 2, Rogers 1-5 0-0 2, Patton 0-1 1-2 1, Rayford 0-1 0-0 0, McCormick 0-0 0-0 0, Ratliff 0-0 0-0 0, Turpin 0-0 0-0 0, R.Hill 1-1 1-2 3, T.Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-43 (44%) 10-16 (63%) 49.
LADY CARDINALS 17
K.Heard 3-8 0-0 7, Avery 3-6 2-6 8, McKinney 0-3 0-0 0, Moore 1-1 0-0 2, Ross 0-11 0-0 0, Elliott 0-1 0-0 0, Tooks 0-4 0-0 0, Hearn 0-2 0-0 0, Sims 0-0 0-0 0, Throwa 0-1 0-0 0, A.Heard 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 7-37 (19%) 2-6 (33%) 17.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-8 (Todd 1-1, Otey 0-3, Ridgell 0-1, McDowell 0-1, Rogers 0-1, Patton 0-1), Camden Fairview 1-10 (K.Heard 1-5, Ross 0-4, Avery 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 15, Camden Fairview 24. Rebounds: Bryant 12-20 32 (Todd 2-4 6, Otey 2-2 4, Carroll 3-0 3, Martin 2-0 2, Rogers 0-2 2, Patton 1-1 2, R.Hill 0-2 2, Baxter 0-1 1, Miller 0-1 1, McDowell 0-1, Rayford 0-1 1, Turpin 0-1 1, team 2-4 6), Camden Fairview 8-15 23 (Avery 4-4 8, McKinney 0-4 4, Ross 0-3 3, Hearn 1-1 2, K.Heard 1-0 1, Moore 0-1 1, Tooks 1-0 1, Sims 0-1 1, team 1-1 2). Team fouls: Bryant 11, Camden Fairview 16.