Livingston’s 3 late in OT provides winning edge for freshman girls

BENTON — A’Niyah Livingston hit a 3-pointer with :12 left in overtime, to snap a 28-28 deadlock and the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team made it stand up with tough defense to close out a 31-28 victory over the rival Benton Lady Panthers freshmen at Benton Arena on Monday night.

In addition, Saffy Purdom, who hadn’t taken a shot all evening, knocked down a 3 to start the overtime, giving the Lady Hornets the upper hand.

In between, Benton’s Kelsey Greer hit a 3, tying the game with :47 left.

The win snapped a three-game slump for the Lady Hornets who will play again on Thursday at Conway Blue.

“I think when we protect the basketball, we have a shot,” said Lady Hornets head coach Nathan Castaldi. “You can say that about a lot of teams, but I think we’ve got some girls that can put the ball in the hole. We’ve just struggled all year to protect the basketball, getting into our offense, executing. But we did a little bit better job of that tonight.”

Livingston led the Lady Hornets with 15 points. Greer had 19 for Benton.

“We’ve done a good job all year of taking what the defense is giving us and tonight they let some of us open and we were able to finish,” Castaldi noted.

The Lady Panthers led 5-2 early but the Lady Hornets closed out the first half with a 6-0 surge. Keyonna Hunt hit a pair of free throws then Savannah Spradlin hit a driving jumper and followed up with a layup after Purdom had made a steal.

Down 8-5, Benton tied it right away in the second period as Greer connected on a 3-ball. 

Bryant’s Camille Calhoun hit a free throw but when Greer hit a pull-up jumper the lead seesawed for a while.

With 2:28 left in the half, Castaldi called a timeout with his team trailing 12-11. After both teams had an empty offensive trip, Livingston hit a 3 to start a 6-0 run. She would add a free throw to make it 15-12.

A steal by Arion Pegram led to her layup to make it 17-12. Benton’s Addison Barger beat the buzzer with a basket to make it a 3-point game at the half.

Livingston opened the second half with a pair of baskets as the lead grew to 21-14 with 4:08 left in the third.

But the Lady Hornets were unable to score the rest of the period, which allowed the Lady Panthers to surge into the lead. Greer’s basket with :08 showing had her team up 22-21.

To open the fourth quarter, Pegram took a feed from Rihanna Ware on the baseline and scored to put the Lady Hornets back up.

It stayed 23-22 as the two teams battled back and forth for a while. Finally, with 2:40 left in the game, Barger scored and was fouled. Her three-point play had the Lady Panthers up 25-23.

With 1:14 left in the game, Pegram connected on a 10-footer to tie the game.

Greer missed at the other end and Purdom, who had three defensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, pulled down the carom. But the Lady Hornets turned the ball over. Pressley Palette, however, couldn’t get her shot to fall and Bryant gained possession on a held ball.

Castaldi called a timeout with :16.7 remaining only to have his team turn the ball over with :07.1 showing. Benton’s Addison Barbaree got a shot at the buzzer but it was off target and overtime was on.



Score by quarters

BRYANT           8          9          4          4          6 — 31

Benton            5          9          8          3          3 — 28


Purdom 1-1 0-0 3, Livingston 6-7 1-2 15, Pegram 3-7 0-0 6, Miller 0-4 0-2 2, Hunt 0-2 2-2 2, Calhoun 0-2 1-2 1, Spradlin 2-5 0-2 4, Ware 0-2 0-0 0, Berry 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 12-32 (38%) 4-10 (40%) 31.


Sheridan 0-3 0-0 0, Palette 0-9 0-0 0, Greer 8-17 0-0 19, Hawkins 1-4 2-2 4, Barbaree 0-6 0-2 0, Chism 0-0 0-0 0, Barger 2-3 1-1 5, Percy 0-0 0-0 0, Reyes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-42 (26%) 3-5 (80%) 28.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-6 (Livingston 2-2, Purdom 1-1, Ware 0-2, Pegram 0-1), Benton 3-8 (Greer 3-8). Turnovers: Bryant 16, Benton 16. Rebounds: Bryant 6-16 22 (Purdom 0-5 5, Livingston 0-4 4, Hunt 2-1 3, Miller 2-0 2, Calhoun 0-2 2, Ware 0-2 2, Berry 0-2 2, team 2-0 2), Benton 16-17 33 (Palette 7-0 7, Hawkins 4-3 7, Greer 3-3 6, Barbaree 1-4 5, Sheridan 0-2 2, Chism 0-2 2, Barger 0-2 2, team 1-1 2). Team fouls: Bryant 10, Benton 10. Fouled out: Bryant, Hunt.

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