November 30, 2016 – The Bryan College Lions Women’s Basketball returned to the hardwood after a long Thanksgiving Break and traveled to fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference school Allen University (S.C.) on Wednesday where the Lions silenced the Yellow Jackets with a double-digit lead in the end of the first quarter and was never surrendered as Bryan earned their first conference victory in convincing fashion, 88-61.
Bryan’s offense was led by Megan Billingsby down low who recorded 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line. Freshman Katie Wolfe turned in her most impressive performance of the season shooting a spotless 6-of-6 and going 2-of-2 on free throws for 14 points. Both Amber Levi and Tonesha Allison followed with a notable 13 points apiece, while Levi was 5-of-7 for the game and 2-of-3 from deep and Allison shot 4-of-6 and went 5-of-7 on free throw attempts. Bryan’s rebounds leader was Levi who corralled six misses, and five separate Lions chipped in one assist, respectively.
A major factor that aided Bryan was the successful 63.3 percent shooting in the game, 54.5 percent from behind the arc, and 87 percent free throw shooting (20-of-23) compared to Allen’s 42.9 percent shooting, 23.5 percent from three-point territory, and 50 percent from the foul line. Despite losing the edge in turnovers 20-12, the Lions made up for it by winning the boards 30-26.
Bryan started strong with 11 points through three and a half minutes following the opening tipoff while holding Allen to a lone three-pointer. The Yellow Jackets swarmed their way back to a one-possession ballgame two times in the first period at 13-10 and 16-13, but the Lions rallied for seven unanswered points to grab their first double-digit lead of the contest as the quarter came to a close, 23-13. The run was sparked by two made free throws by Allison and a trey sank by Billingsby. Allison added one more foul shot, and Wolfe knocked in a two-point look with 33 seconds on the clock for the ten-point advantage.
There was no stopping Bryan as they continued their dominating play for a 22-point lead as the second quarter unfolded. In the first minute Wolfe made a basket, Brandi Whitted’s three-pointer was good, and Erisha Talley connected on two foul shots that brought the score to 30-13. Talley followed with two shots made from inside, Wolfe added two points, and the Yellow Jackets sank one free throw for a 36-14 score with seven minutes remaining in the quarter. The difference dipped to 17 in the final minute, but Maebry McNeese hit the last shot of the half to extend Bryan’s lead to 47-28 at the half.
The Lions allowed the Yellow Jackets to cut the lead to 17 twice in the beginning of the third quarter, but a three-pointer by Levi at the 5:33 mark gave Bryan a 21-point lead at 58-37. Allen was unable to lower the margin to below 20 points for the duration of the evening as Bryan carried a 66-46 lead into the start of the final quarter.
Two made free throws by Savanna Cummings with just over two minutes left in the game gave the Lions a 26-point edge, which was their largest of the contest. After two successful foul shots by Allen with one minute remaining, Marlee Sells countered for Bryan with a bucket from the three-point line to raise the difference back to 26 points for a 88-61 final.
The win improved the Lion’s overall record to 2-5 and 1-3 in conference play, and the Yellow Jackets dropped to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the AAC.
Bryan remains away this weekend when they hit the road Saturday, Dec. 3, for a conference matchup against the Rams of Bluefield College (Va.) with tipoff slated for 2 p.m.
Written by Wesley Sanders, Sports Information Director