|Columbia (S.C.) 3-24||13||15||8||17||53|
|Bryan College 15-14||19||20||16||27||82|
|Feb. 22, 2017|
|Columbia (S.C.)||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#15 Briana Johnson - 13||Points||#44 Megan Billingsby - 19|
|#10 Katie Kopp - 8||Rebounds||#21 Erisha Talley - 11|
|#15 Briana Johnson - 4||Assists||#12 Brandi Whitted - 6|
|Columbia (S.C.)||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|32.7% (18 - 55)||Field Goals %||42.3% (33 - 78)|
|45.5% (10 - 22)||3 Point Field Goals %||42.9% (6 - 14)|
|53.8% (7 - 13)||Free Throws||50% (10 - 20)|
|7||2nd Chance Pts||17|
Kingsport, Tenn. – In the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament, the No. 6 seed Bryan College Lions completely overwhelmed No. 11 Columbia College (S.C.) 82-53, ending the Koala's season with an overall record of 3-24 while moving their own overall record to 15-14. The win punched the Lion's ticket to the quarterfinal round, setting up meeting between Bryan and No. 3 seed Point University (Ga.), who owns a notable 23-6 record. The matchup is on Thursday, Feb. 25 with tipoff slated for 5:15pm. One of the Skyhawk's six regular-season losses came to the Lions when Bryan hosted Point in January and stunned them with a 65-37 victory.
Bryan was guided by All-Conference Second Team member, Megan Billingsby (SR/Dickson, Tenn.), who led all players with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting. She was trailed by First Team honoree, Amber Levi (SO/Dayton, Tenn.), who went 6-of-13 from the floor, 3-of-5 behind the arc, for 18 points. The only other Lion to record double-digits was Erisha Talley (SR/Alexandria, Va.) on the boards, pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds and finishing with four points. Brandi Whitted (SR/Cleveland, Tenn.), Tristan McClellan (FR/Byrdstown, Tenn.), and Maebry McNeese (JR/Nashville, Tenn.) each aided with eight points apiece. Tonesha Allison (SO/Shelbyville, Tenn.) registered five rebounds and five points, while Marlee Sells (JR/Rickman, Tenn.) and Ashli Chew (FR/Smithville, Tenn.) ended with three points, respectively. Bryan players that tallied two points were Destyne Middlebrooks (FR/Chattanooga, Tenn.), Keneisha Love (FR/Pulaski, Tenn.), and Katie Wolfe (FR/Maryville, Tenn.). Whitted dished out a team-high six assists and was followed by McClellan with five. Billingsby scooped up seven rebounds, and both McNeese and Love collected six boards apiece.
As a team, Bryan outshot Columbia 42.3 percent compared to their 32.7 percent. They also surrendered only 12 turnovers while forcing the Koalas into handing over 18. The difference maker was the battle on the boards. The Lions clawed their way to a whopping 56 total rebounds, 22 of which were on the offensive end. The Koalas hauled in 33 rebounds, only grabbing a mere six offensive boards. Bryan scored 17 points off turnovers, 61 points in the paint, and 17 second-chance points. Columbia had zero fast-break points, four points as a result of a turnover, 17 points inside, and only two second-chance points.
The Koala's last lead of the game was 5-4, three and a half minutes into the opening quarter. It was short-lived as the Lions regained the edge and never looked back. A free throw by Billingsby tied the game 5-5, and Bryan continued with their run to make it 10-5. Columbia managed to cut the deficit to one, bringing the score to 12-11, but the Lions rallied for seven unanswered points with the help of two baskets from McNeese and a trey by Whitted for a 19-11 lead. Bryan controlled a 19-13 advantage as the opening period came to a close.
A finish underneath by McClellan and a second-chance capitalized by Talley to begin the second quarter provided Bryan with their first double-digit lead of the game, 23-13. Columbia narrowed the difference to two points at 23-21, but back-to-back daggers from downtown by Levi, along with a finish by Whitted inside lifted the Lions back up 31-21. Bryan maintained a comfortable lead as the first half came to a close, 39-28.
Bryan set the tone of the second half as they entered the third quarter with a 13-0 blow to Columbia, surging ahead 52-28. Eight of the points came from Billingsby down low. The Koalas were able to tack on a few buckets before the quarter ended, but they were still outscored 16-8 in the period.
The Lions owned a 55-36 lead entering the final quarter, and the margin proved too large for the Koalas. With 4:38 on the clock, Bryan was ahead 72-50 and constructed a 10-0 run before Columbia sank a last-second three-pointer as the Lions sealed an 82-53 win.
For any information regarding the AAC Tournament, visit the tourney page here.
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Tournament Schedule - Printable Bracket