October 30, 2015 – On Wednesday night (Oct. 28th) the Bryan College Women’s Basketball team hosted the Ambassadors of Oakwood University (Ala.) in their home season opener, and topped Oakwood in an overwhelming 90-40 victory.
There are numerous new rules this season for collegiate basketball, one of which is playing four 10-minute quarters instead of what used to be two 20-minute halves. The Lady Lions seemed unfazed with the changes, and jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter scoring 12 points and only allowing the Ambassadors a 3-pointer in the first 6 minutes of play. A pair of free throws knocked down by Lion’s Faith Van Ruden (FR/Clarkrange, Tenn.) gave Bryan their largest lead of the first period (17), bringing the score to 23-6. With 19 seconds left in the first period, Oakwood found the basket to close the score at 23-8.
A free throw from Keila Formont (SR/Cleveland, Tenn.) and three straight scores from Cheyenne Shaver (FR/Grimsley, Tenn.) gave the Lions the push needed to build onto their lead, going up 30-11. Minutes later a Taylor Neuharth (SR/Cleveland, Tenn.) steal led to a Shaver 3-pointer, proving she is a threat from anywhere on the court. The Lions took a 41-20 lead into the half.
Bryan outscored Oakwood 21-5 in the third quarter as Megan Billingsby (JR/Dickson, Tenn.) tallied 9 points in the quarter, dominating under the basket and proving why she was a leading scorer for the Lions team last year. In the last two minutes of play in the quarter, the Lions ended on an 8-0 run with Erisha Talley (JR/Alexandria, Va.) collecting 6 of those points and finding an open Tonesha Allison (FR/Shelbyville, Tenn.) for the easy score. Bryan ended the quarter up 62-25.
Less than one minute into play during the fourth and final quarter, Billingsby added to her total for the contest with another bucket and Shaver stayed hot behind the arc, knocking down another long-range shot. A key element in the final quarter was the success Bryan found behind the free throw line, going 10-12. The Lions proved too much for the Ambassadors, earning the 90-40 win in the season opener.
Shaver led the Lions in scoring, finishing with 18 points and 5 rebounds, going 3-4 behind the arc. Billingsby followed close behind with 13 points and 3 rebounds. Allison made quite an impact on the court as she collected a double-double in her first career collegiate basketball game, finishing with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Bryan went 32-68 from the field, shooting 47% while Oakwood shot 23%. 21 of Bryan’s points came from the free throw line. Bryan had a plethora of talent on display as the bench scored 52 points compared to Oakwood’s 18 points coming off the bench. Bryan also led in rebounding with 52, and Oakwood managed 34.
The Lions move to 1-0 on the season and continue play Nov. 4th at 5:30pm at home against Hiwassee College (Tenn.). For the full Bryan College Women’s Basketball schedule, click here.
Written by Wesley Sanders ’15, sports information director.