Second-quarter spree sends Lady Bruins past Lady Hornets

LITTLE ROCK — Two weeks after their preseason scrimmage against White Hall, the Bryant Lady Hornets made their official 2020-21 debut on Monday night at Pulaski Academy.

The Lady Hornets come into the season with just one player that had been involved in significant varsity minutes a year ago and that player, Parris Atkins, played well, scoring 19 points with seven rebounds and a handful of assists.

The rest of the inexperienced group struggled, particularly when Pulaski Academy’s Lady Bruins began to hit shots, hit the boards and pressuring defensively. 

Bryant led much of the first 10 minutes of the game but over the last six minutes of the second quarter, Pulaski Academy went on a 20-2 blitz to take control of the game, which they went on to win 69-41.

“We looked young tonight,” allowed Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews. “We frankly had a deer-in-the-headlights look and we have to get over that. We may be young, but we practice every day. Very little that happened in the game resembles what we do in practice

“It’s very, very disappointing,” he added. “I thought we were further along than this but, obviously, this is where we are, and we’ll go to work trying to fix it.”

Atkins had a layup and a free throw then fed Jordan Hancock for a layup as Bryant built a 5-2 lead. After two free throws by the Lady Bruins’ Natalia Kaza, Lauren Lain drove for a layup and it was 7-4.

Pulaski Academy’s first basket was a 12-foot jumper by Taylor Hernandez, who would go on to score 18 points. But Atkins fed Natalie Edmonson for a 3 then made a steal and layup to push the Bryant lead to 12-6 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

But the Lady Hornets didn’t score the rest of the quarter and Pulaski Academy surged to a 13-12 edge going into the second quarter.

“We did fairly well the first three or four minutes then they played with more energy,” Matthews said. “They executed better than we did.

“P.A. played really hard and we didn’t match their intensity,” he noted. “It shows on the boards. We got killed on the boards and when you give a team like that momentum, man, they just seize it. It’s what they feed off of. It’s what their built for.”

The Lady Bruins outrebounded the Lady Hornets 45-35. That included 20 offensive rebounds. Along with Bryant’s 23 turnovers, that meant the Pulaski Academy attempted 22 more shots from the field.”

Atkins hit the offensive boards for a basket to start the second quarter then freshman point guard Brilynn Findley knocked down a 3-pointer to give Bryant a 17-13 lead.

That’s when the Lady Hornets went cold from the field and the Lady Bruins heated up, starting with a stickback by Kaza, who finished with 20 points and 10 boards.

Bryant’s only basket the rest of the first half was by Atkins with 2:22 left. At that point, the Lady Hornets only trailed 24-19 but Kaza hit a 3, Blakely James scored off an offensive rebound then so did Riley Smith. Hernandez hit a baseline jumper and it was 33-19 at the half.

That was as close as the Lady Hornets would get in the second half. The two teams traded baskets in the early going but then the Lady Bruins started hitting 3’s. It was 47-31 going into the fourth quarter and the lead eventually reached 33 late in the game.

Bryant will return to action at home on Monday, Nov. 30, against Beebe.


Score by quarters

BRYANT           12        7          12        10 — 41

Pulaski Acad    13        20        14        22 — 69


Lain 1-3 0-0 2, Hancock 2-7 0-0 4, Atkins 8-16 2-7 19, Findley 3-5 0-0 8, Muse 0-7 0-0 0, Edmonson 2-7 0-0 6, Ka.Weng 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor 1-2 0-2 2, Kr.Weng 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-48 (35%) 2-9 (22%) 41.


Gadberry 4-10 0-0 11, Smith 4-15 1-2 10, Hernandez 8-20 2-4 18, Kaza 8-12 4-4 20, James 1-4 0-0 2, Watters 0-3 0-0 0, McDaniels 3-6 0-0 8, Crandall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-70 (33%) 7-10 (70%) 69.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 5-20 (Edmonson 2-6, Findley 2-3, Atkins 1-2, Muse 0-6, Hancock 0-2, Ka.Weng 0-1), Pulaski Academy 6-26 (Gadberry 3-6, McDaniels 2-5, Smith 1-4, Hernandez 0-8, Watters 0-2, James 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 23, Pulaski Academy 6. Rebounds: Bryant 35 (Atkins 4-3 7, Muse 1-6 7, Lain 1-5 6, Taylor 3-3 6, Findley 1-2 3, Hancock 0-2 2, Ka.Weng 0-1 1, team 0-3 3), Pulaski Academy 20-25 45 (Kaza 7-3 10, Gadberry 0-9 9, Smith 3-2 5, Hernandez 3-2 5, James 2-3 5, Watters 3-1 4, McDaniels 0-2 2, Crandall 0-1 1, team 1-3 4). Team fouls: Bryant 8, Pulaski Academy 10.

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