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Lady Pats upset No. 7 Bryant & Stratton 72-70

January 30, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Where there’s a will there’s a way.

The Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) women’s basketball team can attest to that after using a 20-5 run over the final five and a half minutes to upset NJCAA, Division II No. 7 Bryant & Stratton College 72-70 on Saturday in Martinsville. The Region X win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Lady Patriots while it gave the Bobcats their second straight loss this week, falling Jan. 27 to Louisburg College 82-75.

Freshman Kedra Bradley (Danville, Va.) scored the winning bucket with 4 seconds remaining on a pass from former G.W.-Danville High School teammate and fellow freshman Lexi Dabney (Danville, Va.). PHCC used its final offensive possession to run the clock down, and then executed on a long pass from the right wing to the left corner. Bradley caught the ball in stride and went baseline for an uncontested layup and the Patriots defense stopped the last-chance effort.

“We put the ball in Lexi’s hands for her to go one-on-one and create. She made the right pass to Kedra and she finished,” PHCC head coach Brian Henderson said of the play. “The biggest thing is we did it together.”

The Lady Pats (5-9, 3-3) trailed by as many 16 points midway through the third quarter. A 13-3 run to open the second half by the Bobcats (15-3, 8-2) featured a carry over of a 9-2 run that closed the first half. PHCC went without a point over the final four minutes of the second quarter into the first minute of the third, watching a four-point lead turn into a 12-point deficit.

Dabney erupted with four 3-pointers in the third quarter and scored 16 of her 19 points over the 10-minute stretch, helping offset a 26-point display by Bryant & Stratton. Each big shot, however, was answered by Gabrielle Swinson, Breona Cowan or Ashley Thompson who combined for 22 of the 26. Dabney’s final 3 made it a 10-point game entering the fourth, but the Patriots still trailed 65-52 with five and half minutes left in regulation. That’s when Henderson took a timeout and let his assistants make a change defensively.

A 13-0 run by the Patriots over the next three minutes, fueled mainly by points off turnovers, tied the game at 65 with 2:30 remaining. Bradley scored seven points in the run and had nine of her 13 points in the final quarter.

“The call came from our assistants to change to a 2-2-1 and put pressure on them and next thing you know we’re right back in the game,” Henderson said. “I believe in my coaches and the players also saw things in the first half that they suggested.”

Henderson added that Dabney did a good job of handling the ball in the closing minutes, and helped break the Bobcats’ half-court trap that force PHCC into a double-digit hole. That paired with an opportunistic defense, helped switch the momentum of the game in a short period of time.

“You can’t relax, the game is four quarters,” Bryant & Stratton head coach Cornel Parker said. “We kind of relaxed and let them out-rebound us with second-chance points. When players don’t box out that’s what happens. We’re not big to begin with.”

Freshman Ebony Reynolds (Patrick County, Va.) and sophomore Kim Martin (Bassett, Va.) were strong on the glass for the Patriots. Reynolds finished with a game-high 16 rebounds and a team-high 23 points, scoring in every quarter and recorded her sixth straight double-double. Martin hauled down a season-high 11 rebounds.

With the game tied at 67 and 1:47 left, an altercation in the stands disrupted the game and prompted several players from both teams to leave the court. The officials allowed management to seize control of the situation before assessing technical fouls to both teams. Parker said he was pleased with the way the referees handled the semi-frenzied scene by naturally letting it deflate.

Dabney hit 1-of-2 free throws out of the timeout for PHCC’s first lead since the second quarter.

“The only thing we were focused on was getting the win,” Dabney said. “Make the free throws, don’t worry about what happened in the stands and focus on getting the win.”

Swinson and Reynolds exchanged free throws and a field goal after Cowan used a free throw to tie the game at 68. A defensive stop by PHCC allowed the home team to bleed the clock with a nearly 2-second shot clock to game clock differential. Parker said he gambled with the same trap in hopes of either forcing overtime or taking the win.

“A 20-5 run just shows them that they are capable of doing some great things,” Henderson said. “They should know they’re capable of playing at this level, and don’t need to look at a record or our record and think they don’t belong here.”

The Lady Pats opened the game with an 11-2 run. Olivia Simpson hit a 3-pointer to give PHCC its largest lead of the game at 19-9 with 3:35 left in the first. The Bobcats closed with a 7-0 run and only trailed 19-16 after one before leading 34-29 at the half. Henderson said it was another promising start, but that they still need to find ways of limiting momentum changes in the second quarter.

Ruth Omolola (New Carrollton, Md.) was the fourth Patriot scorer in double figures with 10 points, nine in the opening quarter. Swinson paced Bryant & Stratton’s trio of double-figure scorers with a game-high 25 and a perfect 9-for-9 mark at the line.

“This will build our confidence and give us something to look forward to now,” Dabney said of the win. “That we can come out and know we can play and have the ability to beat good teams when we play our game.”

Patrick Henry has a quick turnaround as they welcome No. 12 Cape Fear Community College to Stone Hall for a 1 p.m. tip Sunday (Jan. 31). It is the third game of a four-game homestead which features three straight against top-20 nationally ranked teams, finishing Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. against No. 19 Louisburg College.

 

Filed under: Women's Basketball

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