Lady Hornets suffer first loss but come back to knock off unbeaten Branson at Crabtree

BENTONVILLE — The Bryant Lady Hornets absorbed their first loss of the 2011-12 season on Friday night but[more] bounced back Saturday afternoon with a 56-46 win over previously unbeaten Branson, Mo., to complete play in the annual Crabtree Invitational Tournament at Bentonville High School.

The Lady Hornets’ loss was to the host team, 53-44. But, in beating Branson, they defeated the lone team that had beaten Bentonville’s Lady Tigers at the event.

In the win over Branson, the Lady Hornets trailed 44-41 going into the fourth quarter but finished with a 15-2 run.

Kiara Moore scored 21 points with Logan Davis and Taneasha Rhode adding 12 each.

Branson led 17-16 after a quarter but Bryant held a 34-31 edge at the half.

“Branson had three really strong post players,” noted Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews. “We tried to speed up the tempo, tried to get up and down with them, tried to pressure them and I think it finally took its toll in the fourth quarter.

“It was overall one of our better games in terms of our effort, in terms of combining both offense and defense especially in the second half,” he mentioned. “The kids had to play well to win and they did.”

The Lady Hornets had a 12-7 lead over Bentonville going into the second quarter but the Lady Tigers put together a 21-point second quarter and led 28-23 at the half. They extended the margin to 43-31 going into the fourth quarter.

Callie Hogancamp led Bryant with 9 points on a trio of 3-pointers. Davis added 8 and Rhode 7.

“We got off to a good start,” Matthews noted. “Bentonville’s pretty good.

“We had a poor quarter defensively,” he mentioned. “Our defensive rebounding just wasn’t there. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. Giving up 21 in the quarter — I really don’t want to give up 21 for a half, much less a quarter. That kind of put us behind the eight-ball and we spent the rest of the game kind of trying to fight back.

“And the kids did,” the coach noted. “They fought back and I think we got it cut to 4 or 5 a couple of times. We just couldn’t overcome that poor second quarter.”

The Lady Hornets go from one tournament to another. They open play in the Tournament of Champions in Fort Smith on Thursday, Dec. 8. 

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