BRYANT – Junior guard Jakeria Otey started and finished the game by missing two free throws for the Bryant Lady Hornets, but in between she put on solid offensive display scoring 18 points to help lift the Hornets to a 43-38 win against the Texarkana Razorbacks in a conference game at home in Bryant Friday night.
The win improved the Lady Hornets to 2-3 in conference play and 6-9 overall. Texarkana started the game off quickly by taking a 9-3 lead early in the game that forced Bryant Head Coach Brad Matthews to take a timeout.
The deficit remained at six for the Bryant at the end of the first quarter, but after a fast-break layup by Jayla Anderson and a score by senior forward Aubree Allen cut the lead to only two, 11-9.
Texarkana hit a three to take a 14-9 lead, but the Hornets fought back to a 14-14 tie with a three by Anderson and a steal and lay up by Otey with less than three minutes left in the first half. The Hornets traded baskets with Texarkana, but the Razorbacks had a three mixed in to make the score 19-18 at the half.
Coach Matthews liked the second half effort of his team better than the first.
“I thought we had a few turnovers in the first half against their zone,” he said. “I thought we were a little bit more patient. I thought we executed better in the second half and got some good shots.”
The second half started with turnovers by both teams, but a layup by Otey was the first score of the half and gave the Hornets a 20-19 lead. In between scores from the Razorbacks, Otey scored six straight points for the Hornets to begin the second half.
After a 22-22 tie, the Hornets took the lead for good on an Otey layup that made it 24-22.
The Razorbacks got within a point on a free throw, but a 7-0 run by the Hornets gave them enough of a cushion to hold off the Razorbacks down the stretch.
The Hornets slowed the pace to play “keep away” about midway through the fourth quarter and with only three minutes remaining the Razorbacks began to foul to try to get back in the game.
Texarkana did manage to cut the lead to 38-36, but both teams had offensive fouls on back-to-back inbounds plays and Otey sank a couple of free throws to push the lead back to 40-36. An exchange of baskets by both teams set the final score.
“I thought our kids really fought,” Matthews said. “I thought our kids really responded well, competing, fighting, clawing and it was a really good team win for us.”
Senior Peyton Weaver had 10 points for the Lady Hornets, Anderson had seven and Allen added six.