|Jan. 3, 2017|
|Point (Ga.)||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#25 Deja Smith - 13||Points||#34 Amber Levi - 19|
|2 Players (#21,#22,#20) - 1||Rebounds||2 Players (#34,#42) - 7|
|#20 Tori Robinson - 3||Assists||#21 Erisha Talley - 6|
|Point (Ga.)||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|24.5% (12 - 49)||Field Goals %||39.6% (21 - 53)|
|27.3% (6 - 22)||3 Point Field Goals %||25% (3 - 12)|
|58.3% (7 - 12)||Free Throws||76.9% (20 - 26)|
|3||2nd Chance Pts||10|
Dayton, Tenn. – A team-high 19 points compiled by Amber Levi (SO/Dayton, Tenn.), followed by double-digit performances from Maebry McNeese (JR/Pleasant View, Tenn.) with 15 points and Megan Billingsby (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) with 13 points helped the Bryan Lions Women's Basketball team explode for a 65-37 victory over fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference foe Point University (Ga.) Tuesday evening in Summers Gymnasium. Levi is coming off her career-best game when the Lions traveled to Florida over the Christmas break to participate in the AAC/TSC Challenge hosted by St. Thomas University. She was Bryan's leading scorer in the tournament opener against host school St. Thomas University where she dropped 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting, 4-of-8 behind the arc, but the Bobcats escaped with a 65-60 win. Ave Maria University managed a close battle with Bryan, eventually taking it with a 64-63 final. Billingsby tallied 18 points to lead in scoring and was trailed by Levi and Erisha Talley (SR/Alexandria, Va.) who each produced 11 points. With one game remaining in the challenge, the Lions with the help of Levi made sure to come back home with a win, which came in convincing fashion, 81-65. Her career-high game was reached on 12-of-23 shooting, 6-of-14 from deep, and a perfect 7-of-7 at the foul line for 37 total points.
After returning home and beginning the New Year with a win in conference action, Bryan is now 6-8 overall and 4-4 in the AAC. The loss snapped Point's four-game winning streak, dropping their overall record to 11-4 and conference record to 4-4.
The Lions held the Skyhawks to their lowest outing of the season by allowing Point only 12 points in the first half while Bryan scored 12 points in the first quarter alone. The Lions chipped in 13 more points in the second quarter for a 25-12 lead at halftime. The Skyhawks started to find the basket as the second half unfolded, but an 18-point effort in the third quarter and 22 points in the final period by the Lions proved too much.
In the opening quarter, the score was leveled 6-6 before the Lions sparked a 6-0 run with two free throws by McNeese, a pair of foul shots by Levi, and a shot from inside by Tristan McClellan (FR/Byrdstown, Tenn.) to close out the period.
Bryan continued the run with back-to-back baskets by Billingsby to begin the second quarter for a 16-6 lead. A free throw by Brandi Whitted (SR/Cleveland, Tenn.) and jumper by Talley provided the Lions with a 19-6 advantage. With a minute left to play till the break, Point hit a trey to dip the difference to single-digits, but it didn't last long as McNeese went 2-of-2 at the free throw line and a last-second shot by McClellan bumped Bryan's lead to 25-12.
The Skyhawks struck first in the third quarter, but Billingsby capitalized in the paint for two points and Levi knocked down a close shot and a look from downtown for an 18-point edge. Point cut the deficit to 12 points, but two McNeese free throws capped a run late in the quarter to raise the lead back to 18 points, 40-22. The Skyhawks sank a three-pointer, but McNeese responded with a foul shot and Talley connected with Keniesha Love (FR/Pulaski, Tenn.) for her lone basket of the evening that put the Lions up 43-25 heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter was instantly controlled by Bryan as they broke free for eight unanswered points consisting of three Levi free throws, a McNeese bucket under the goal, and a three-point shot by Levi for a 51-25 advantage. The Skyhawks were unable to gain any ground on the Lions as Bryan slowly built their lead to 28 points as the final buzzer sounded for a 65-37 final.
Rebounds went Bryan's way 39-29, and the Lions also pieced together more efficient shooting as they went 39.6 percent from the field compared to 24.5 percent by Point. An impressive defensive effort by the Lions helped force the Skyhawks into 20 turnovers, while Bryan turned the ball over 13 times. Tonesha Allison (SO/Shelbyville, Tenn.) was active on the boards as she corralled seven rebounds, four of which were on the offensive end. Levi matched Allison with a team-high seven rebounds. Bryan's assist leader was Talley who dished out six assists in the contest. Levi was successful at the foul line going 9-of-10, and McNeese followed by going 7-of-8.
The Lions look to continue their momentum as they face a tough side in AAC school Milligan College (Tenn.) on Thursday, Jan. 5, at home with tipoff slated for 5:30pm. The Buffaloes of Milligan are currently ranked No. 23 in the NAIA, sporting an 11-5 overall record and 7-1 record against conference opponents.
For the full Bryan Lions Women's Basketball schedule, click here.