Second-, third-quarter dry spells too much for Lady Hornets to overcome

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Tierra Trotter scoops up a layup after driving past Little Rock Central’s Erynn Barnum. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornets stayed with the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers for a quarter and about two minutes. But an 11-0 run put the Lady Tigers up by double digits then a 17-2 run in the third quarter left the Lady Hornets in their wake as Central rolled to a 60-37 victory Friday night.

It was the first conference win for the Lady Tigers, 10-5 overall. But it was the first game they’ve been intact with the addition of guard Lauryn Pendleton who came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points.

The Lady Hornets, also 1-2 in league play going into Tuesday’s home game against Fort Smith Southside, were led by Kalia Walker’s 11 points. Ivory Russ had 7, Tierra Trotter 6 and Lexie Taylor 5.

Central’s Areyanna Hall added 14 and Erynn Barnum 13.

“I thought we came out and really attacked them,” said Lady Hornets coach Brad Matthews. “When they put pressure on you, they’re so long and athletic, they don’t let you run a lot of stuff on offense. I thought we did a good job attacking them in the first quarter.”

Ivory Russ has the ball stripped away on the way to the hoop. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Walker started the scoring with a pair of free throws. After Hall hit a 3, Trotter drove for a basket to put Bryant back ahead.

Hall hit a jumper in the lane but a free throw by India Atkins tied it. Pendleton came in and knocked down a 3 but Russ drove for a bucket. Pendleton scored again but Walker drained a 3 to tie the game 10-10 with 3:05 left in the first quarter.

Neither team did much more on offense the rest of the period. Pendleton scored again then Hall drove for a layup and it was 14-10 going into the second stanza.

Elyse Smith scored for Central but Robyn Gordan got free inside and took a feed from Trotter for an answering bucket to make it 16-12.

But, over the next two minutes, the Lady Hornets went cold and the Lady Tigers got hot.

“The second quarter, we got on our heels,” Matthews said. “We had some turnovers that led to breakout stuff and It went from a 4- or 5-point game to a 14-point game.

Kalia Walker pulls up for a jumper. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

“We had that little lull, very similar to what happened at Northside,” he noted. “We’re right there with really good teams then we just have a three- or four-minute stretch where we don’t play at a high level. And when you’re playing top 5 teams in the state, you just can’t overcome that.”

Trotter drove for a scoop shot to break the ice for Bryant with 3:45 left in the half. Pendleton canned a 12-footer but Taylor answered for the Lady Hornets and it was 29-18 going into the final two minutes of the quarter.

Barnum and Pendleton added to the score and the Lady Tigers made it a 33-18 lead at the half.

Barnum opened the second half with a bucket and Russ answered with a pair of free throws. But Central put together a 15-0 run that took the Lady Hornets in a big hole.

“We did a better job in spurts but, once again, when we’d get on our heels,” Matthews said. “They were able to get in the lane, get some offensive rebounds.

“I thought there was a lot of good stuff that we did tonight, a lot better than a month ago,” he asserted. “We’ve got to eliminate those three- or four-minute stretches where we’re on our heels and we’re just out there.”

India Atkins (11) tries to get a shot over Central’s Mikelle Cole. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Lady Tigers’ lead grew to 50-20 but Walker drove for a basket and, after two free throws by Central’s Mariyan Green, she hit a 3 to cut the lead enough to prevent the mercy rule.

Taylor popped a 3 to start the fourth quarter and Russ followed up a Central turnover with two more free throws. That cut the margin to 22 but, after Pendleton hit the offensive glass to score, the Lady Hornets were never that close again.


Score by quarters

BRYANT          10        8          7          12 — 37

LR Central       14        17        19        8 — 60

LADY HORNETS (5-9, 1-2) 37

Trotter 3-11 0-1 6, Walker 3-11 3-4 11, Atkins 0-5 1-2 1, Martin 1-4 1-2 3, Russ 1-4 5-8 7, Taylor 2-4 0-0 5, Gordon 1-2 2-2 4, Scifres 0-0 0-0 0, Baker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-41 (27%) 12-19 (63%) 37.

LADY TIGERS (10-5, 1-2) 60

Lewis 1-3 1-2 3, Hall 6-7 1-1 14, Smith 3-9 0-2 7, Cole 0-3 0-0 0, Barnum 5-9 3-4 13, Pendleton 9-18 0-0 19, Green 0-0 2-2 2, Peyton 0-5 0-0 0, Ashford 0-4 0-0 0, Kennedy 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-59 (42%) 7-11 (64%) 60.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-9 (Walker 2-5, Taylor 1-1, Trotter 0-3), LR Central 3-15 (Smith 1-4, Pendleton 1-4, Hall 1-1, Peyton 0-4, Barnum 0-1, Lewis 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 17, LR Central 11. Rebounds: Bryant 11-21 32 (Russ 2-6 8, Walker 1-7 8, Trotter 1-2 3, Atkins 2-1 3, Martin 2-1 3, Taylor 1-1 2, Baker 1-1 2, team 1-2 3), LR Central 16-22 38 (Green 5-3 8, Barnum 2-5 7, Pendleton 3-3 6, Smith 1-5 6, Cole 2-3 5, Hall 0-2 2, Ashford 2-0 2, Lewis 1-0 1, Peyton 0-1 1). Team fouls: Bryant 13, LR Central 17.

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