|Feb. 1, 2017|
|Bryan (Tenn.)||Indv. Leaders||Columbia College|
|#34 Amber Levi - 20||Points||#15 Briana Johnson - 26|
|#44 Megan Billingsby - 7||Rebounds||3 Players - 8|
|2 Players (#42,#44) - 1||Assists||2 Players (#3,#15) - 3|
|Bryan (Tenn.)||Team Statistics||Columbia College|
|36.2% (25 - 69)||Field Goals %||34.8% (23 - 66)|
|45.5% (5 - 11)||3 Point Field Goals %||35.7% (5 - 14)|
|67.7% (21 - 31)||Free Throws||82.4% (14 - 17)|
|10||2nd Chance Pts||8|
Columbia, S.C. – The Bryan College Lions Women's Basketball sent the Koalas of Columbia College to the bottom of the Appalachian Athletic Conference pack alongside St. Andrews University (N.C.) with both standing at 2-15 against conference opponents, and the Lions are now leveled with Union College (Ky.), Bluefield College (Va.), and Truett-McConnell University (Ga.) for a tie in fifth with each posting a 9-8 record in AAC play. Bryan continues to compete for a top-place finish in conference with the help of a 76-65 victory over Columbia Wednesday night.
Amber Levi (SO/Dayton, Tenn.) led the Lion Pride in her fifth game this season with at least 20 points, registering 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the floor, 2-of-5 from deep, and 6-of-8 from the foul line. Kaylee Smith (SO/Dunlap, Tenn.) followed with 15 points after connecting on 6-of-11, 1-of-3 behind the arc, and 2-of-3 on free throws. Tristan McClellan (FR/Byrdstown, Tenn.) aided with 12 points and six rebounds, finishing the game 3-of-9 and a perfect 2-of-2 from three-point range and 4-of-4 on foul shots. 11 points were collected by Maebry McNeese (JR/Nashville, Tenn.) who was 4-of-8 and also secured three boards. Tonesha Allison (SO/Shelbyville, Tenn.) assisted with nine points, going 3-of-7, and pulled down five misses. Megan Billingsby (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) ended with only five points, but she led the Lions with seven rebounds. Keneisha Love (FR/Pulaski, Tenn.) hit one basket for two points and tallied five boards, Brandi Whitted (SR/Cleveland, Tenn.) came up with two points, and Erisha Talley (SR/Alexandria, Va.) helped off the glass with six rebounds.
The Koalas won the rebounding battle 40-35, but the Lions ended with fewer turnovers 14-17 and had a full team effort outscoring Columbia 27-7 from the bench. Bryan also had the edge in shooting by going 36.2 percent for the game compared to Columbia's 34.8 percent. The Lions also bettered the Koalas in three-point land, completing 45.5 percent to their 35.7 percent.
Despite having the deficit reach double-digits only four times throughout the game, the Bryan allowed Columbia their only lead at 2-0 and 4-2 to begin the opening half. Smith swiped a steal and was fouled. Bryan took the ball down the floor and recorded a quick score from Levi to level the game at 4-4. The go-ahead basket was made by Smith who drew contact on the play but couldn't capitalize on the and-one free throw. Allison hit one foul shot and was followed by Billingsby who cashed in a pair of free throws that put the Lions ahead 9-4. With one minute remaining in the first quarter, the Koalas kept up pace and wouldn't allow the Lions to create separation. One free throw by Columbia pulled them within one point of Bryan, 13-12. McNeese came up big with a basket and followed the Koala's score with another shot from inside to put Bryan on top 17-14. Columbia attempted to tie the game with a try from long-range, but McClellan snagged the rebound and found Whitted for her only two points of the contest, providing Bryan with a 19-14 advantage going into the second quarter.
As the second quarter unfolded, the Lions continued to push forward but Koalas trailed close behind. Columbia nailed a three-pointer with 7:35 on the clock to slim the margin to one, 21-20, and did it once more with 30 seconds to go before halftime at 31-30. McClellan found the hoop just before time ran out, sending Bryan to the locker room up 33-30.
Besides the first basket of the second half, the Lions held the Koalas to only three points through half of the third quarter as they built their lead to 44-35. Their first double-digit lead came with two and half minutes to go in the period as McNeese made a pair of foul shots, making the score 50-40 and then 51-40 for their largest lead of the game. Columbia managed to make the difference seven points heading in the final quarter, 55-48.
Four unanswered points by the Koalas to start the fourth quarter made it a one-possession game, but a trey by Levi and key scores by McNeese and Allison helped eliminate any momentum by Columbia. The last basket by the Lions came at the three-minute mark as McNeese scored from inside, making it 68-60. Bryan ended the game with their final eight points being made at the foul line when Columbia resorted to fouling in hopes of a comeback. The Lion's defense proved too strong, and they also made their free throws to seal a 76-66 win over the Koalas.
Up next for the Lions is a meeting with conference foe, St. Andrews University, on Saturday, Feb. 4, with tipoff scheduled for 12pm in Summers Gymnasium.
For the full Bryan Lions Women's Basketball schedule, click here.