Bryan Ladies improve overall record to 5-2
Cleveland, Ga. – The outcome of the Appalachian Athletic Conference game between Bryan College Women’s Basketball and Truett McConnell University Tuesday evening was essentially determined through just two quarters of play when the Lions overwhelmed the Bears 14-6 in period number one and closed out the first half topping Truett 26-17 in the second quarter. Bryan would go on to outscore Truett in a close final two quarters, notching a 72-50 conference win.
The Lions had four big performers on the offensive end with Shayla Ludy (FR/Ringgold, Ga.)’s 15 points leading the way. She finished 6-of-11 from the floor including 3-of-5 makes from behind the arc. Trailing Ludy was Sarah Cain (FR/Jacksboro, Tenn.) who collected 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting and dealing most of her damage at the foul line where she completed 8-of-10 free throws. Tristan McClellan (SO/Byrdstown, Tenn.) saw double-digit scoring for the first time of the season after knocking down an efficient 5-of-7 looks from the floor, 3-of-5 from deep, for 13 total points, while also tallying a team-best six assists. Karli Combs (FR/Rutledge, Tenn.) has now reached double-figures in six straight contests, averaging 19 points per game this season, after producing 10 points against the Bears. Cain also aided on the boards with seven rebounds, but Tonesha Allison (JR/Shelbyville, Tenn.) shined with a career-best 12 rebounds. To round out the scoring, Amber Levi (JR/Dayton, Tenn.) turned in six points and the trio of Deandra Luna (FR/Sparta, Tenn.), Allison, and Keneisha Love (SO/Pulaski, Tenn.) added four points apiece. Leann Scharberg (FR/Johnson City, Tenn.) chipped in two points with a lone make.
Defensively, Bryan wouldn’t allow Truett any space, which gave way to the Bears averaging only 28.8 percent in the game and 26.3 percent from deep. The Lions also clawed their way to a 49-37 rebounding advantage and had their bench help with 34 points compared to the Bear’s 19 points scored by their reserves. For the game, Bryan shot 39.7 percent, 29 percent from three-point range, and made 9-of-12 of their foul shots.
Combs, who leads the AAC in three-pointers made (25), three-pointers made per game (3.57), and is averaging 47.2 percent made from the perimeter, used no time to put the Lions on the board first by cashing in from downtown just over one minute into the opening period. It took over three minutes for the next basket to be scored when the Bears responded with a three-ball, but Bryan would surrender only three more points to Truett in the quarter number one as they headed to the second period in front 14-6.
Levi caught fire quickly in the second quarter as she dropped in five points to provide Bryan with a double-digit lead that wouldn’t be given up for the duration of the game. A pair of three’s drained by Ludy and McClellan in the final minutes of the frame, as well as a score from inside by Luna, propelled the Lions for a comfortable 17-point advantage at the half, 40-23.
Each time that Truett attempted to make a move and cut the deficit in the third quarter, Bryan would counter and extend separation. Cain made 1-of-2 free throws at 2:21 to help the Lions to their first 20-point lead, 51-31. The Bears had slimmed the margin to 16 points in the final seconds of the period, but Luna found Ludy behind the three-point line who sank the trey just in time to bump the lead back to 19 points, 56-37, heading into the last quarter.
Truett was able to hold Bryan to 16 points in the fourth quarter but could only manage 13 points on their end as the Lions easily sealed the 72-50 final, improving their overall record to 5-2 and conference record to 2-1. The Bears fell to 2-5 overall and are still without a win in the AAC at 0-4.
After Thanksgiving break, the Lions return home for a matchup with the Rams of Bluefield College (Va.) on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 5:30pm.