Taylor Neal hit two free throws with :07.5 left in the game to snap a 37-37 tie as the Bryant Lady Hornets junior varsity team eked out a 39-37 win over the North Little Rock JV on Tuesday night.
North Little Rock had just tied the game with a 3-pointer but not all of the Lady Wildcats realized the game was tied. On the way up the floor, Neal reached midcourt and was shoved, one of those unintentional intentional fouls as if North Little Rock needed another possession.
And Neal made them pay, part of her 9 points in the game.
London Abernathy finished with 11. Callie Hogancamp, Reagan Barker, Abbi Stearns and Casey Lee each added 4 with Brittney Ball contributing a pair of free throws and Kayla Sory one.
Lee, who finished with 11 rebounds, had 10 of those in the first half.
North Little Rock led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter. A basket by Hogancamp early in the second period tied the game but North Little Rock pushed the margin out to 19-11 going into the final two minutes of the half.
Barker knocked down a 15-foot jumper and, after North Little Rock missed a couple of chances to counter, Ball was sent to the line where she converted twice. And when Neal knocked down a pair of free throws in the final minute, the Lady Hornets had whittled it back down to a 2-point game, 19-17, at the break.
The Lady Wildcats maintained the advantage early in the third quarter. It was 21-18 before Stearns drove for a hoop and, after a North Little Rock turnover, Lee followed suit to give Bryant a 22-21 lead. Neal made a steal and Abernathy fed Stearns for a layup then Abernathy canned a baseline jumper to put the Lady Hornets ahead 26-21.
After a timeout with 1:47 left in the quarter, neither team was able to score until the Lady Wildcats hit a 3 early in the final period.
The game was tied at 26 and 28 before Abernathy followed up a bucket by Lee to give the Lady Hornets the lead again. She then drilled a 3 to make it a 5-point game.
Bryant clinged to the lead until the North Little Rock 3-pointer tied it in the closing seconds, prior to Neal’s game-winning free throws.