No. 23 Lions Win Fourth Straight, Stinging Yellow Jackets 76-60
DAYTON, Tenn. – When 23rd-ranked Bryan College women’s basketball outscored fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference opponent Allen University (S.C) 24-7 in the third quarter of Saturday afternoon’s contest, the Lions never looked back, securing a double-digit lead that wouldn’t be surrendered for the rest of the game as Bryan triumphed 76-60. The win marked the fourth straight victory for the Lions, improving to 5-1 overall and a perfect 4-0 in AAC play. The Yellow Jackets moved their overall record to 4-3 and conference record to 3-2.
Four Lions registered double-figures in scoring, highlighted by Deandra Luna’s 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting while chipping in five assists. Karli Combs trailed with 13 points, finished 5-of-12 in the game and 3-of-8 behind the arc. The duo of Amber Levi and Tristan McClellan matched each other with 10 points apiece. McClellan also helped on the boards with four rebounds and dished out four assists. To’Nesha Allison grabbed a team-high 11 boards, dished out a team-best six assists, and produced six points. Shayla Ludy provided valuable minutes for Bryan, totaling nine points and three rebounds. She was followed by Tesa Johnson with eight points. Rounding out the scoring for the Lions was Destiny Kassner who made a lone two-point basket.
Bryan out-shot Allen, connecting on 44.4 percent of their tries while the Yellow Jackets carried a 37.1 shooting percentage. Each side tallied eight offensive rebounds, but Bryan recorded eight more defensively than Allen managed, out-rebounding the visitors 38-30 in the game.
Other than Luna hitting a shot inside to open up the scoring by both teams to start the first quarter, Bryan was unable to gain an advantage as the Yellow Jackets swarmed the Lions through the beginning of the period en route to a 10-5 lead. Despite the early hot shooting by Allen, they were unable to keep pace with Bryan who battled back to even the count at 12’s and 15’s with the help of made three-pointers by Combs and Luna. Eventually, the Lions proved too much when Kassner answered down low with a make, followed by a successful drive and layup by McClellan to put Bryan on top 19-15 near the two and a half minute mark. Allen cashed in one free throw over the final minutes, and Ludy sank two shots at the foul line, providing the Lions with a 21-16 advantage after one quarter of play.
The second frame began at the foul line with McClellan going two-for-two. The next score for Bryan came when McClellan found Johnson cutting underneath for the easy two points before McClellan hit a reverse layup to give the Lions a 27-18 lead. A pair of treys by the Yellow Jackets was able to cut the margin to three points, 29-26, with 3:40 on the clock, but Levi knocked down a shot from outside and Luna scored in the paint on a second-chance opportunity to slow the momentum of Allen. The Yellow Jackets scraped up four points to end the half, leaving the Lions still with the edge at 34-30.
It took almost four minutes into the third quarter for Allen to score. Over that time, Bryan rallied for a 12-0 run with Combs sparking the display with back-to-back mid-range jumpers. Allison dropped in a bucket from the paint and was trailed by Levi and Luna rising up from the perimeter and draining their three-point attempts for a commanding 46-30 lead. A three-pointer by Combs near the midway point of the quarter allowed the Lions to see their first 20-point advantage, 53-32. The period ended with Ludy using her speed to beat a few defenders and score down low and Johnson hitting a three-pointer for a 58-37 Bryan lead.
The 24-7 performance in the third stanza by the Lions ended all hopes of the Yellow Jackets with just one quarter remaining. Bryan continually countered any make of Allen’s with a make of their own, seeing their largest lead at 67-42 with seven and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter. The large gap allowed the Lions to work through their bench with the difference never dipping below 14 points. The Yellow Jackets were forced to foul late, but McClellan and Levi were deadly at the foul line, eliminating any chance for Allen as Bryan won 76-60.
Up next for the Lions will be a trip to Union College (Ky.) for a conference matchup with the Bulldogs who are currently 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the AAC. Bryan and Union will tipoff in Barbourville, Ky. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 5:30pm.
To view the 2018-19 team and individual stats for Bryan women’s basketball, click here.
For the full Bryan College women’s basketball schedule, click here.