Inaugural Bobcat Classic Recap: Bobcats Take Third Place

-- Bryant & Stratton College takes third place at the 2018 Bobcat Classic --
-- Bryant & Stratton College takes third place at the 2018 Bobcat Classic --

WAUWATOSA, WI (December 16, 2018) - This past weekend, the Bryant & Stratton College women's basketball team took third place going 1-1 at the inaugural 2018 Bobcat Classic. The Bobcats suffered an opening round loss on Friday to Joliet Junior College 81-76 but defeated Owen's Community College 75-72 on Saturday to take third place.

Kirkwood Community College defeated Owen's CC 60-40 on Friday to advance to the championship game against Joliet on Saturday. Kirkwood defeated Joliet 85-56 which crowned them as the champions of the classic.

The Bobcat Classic marked as the first ever athletic tournament hosted by Bryant & Stratton in the college's history. 

After splitting at the classic, Bryant & Stratton moved to 8-5 overall on the season.

GAME ONE (BSC vs Joliet) 81-76 Loss

Leading 41-30 to start the second half, the Bobcats saw their double-digit lead slip away as Joliet battled back tying the game up at 56 a-piece with one minute left in the third quarter. 

"They jumped out strong to start the second half and we did not respond well," Bobcats head coach Jeff Lorenz said. "It is tough to see a double-digt lead taken away in one quarter."

Responding to Joliet's run, freshman guard, Ashley Moses, regained the lead for the Bobcats after making a tough layup through traffic to give Bryant & Stratton a 58-56 edge with 44 seconds left in the quarter.

With the clock winding down, Joliet refused to head into the fourth without taking lead as they went on a 5-0 run to close the quarter leading 61-58.

"It was combination of us not executing on both sides of the ball as well as their solid play," Lorenz said. 

In the first three minutes of the fourth, it was a back and forth battle as both teams picked up their intensity. Sophomore, Brandilyn Robertson, regained the lead for Bryant & Stratton after an offensive board and put-back giving the Bobcats a 64-63 advantage with seven minutes left in the game.

A thrilling finish down the stretch as five lead changes took place over the course of the final seven minutes.

With just seconds remaining, Joliet sealed the deal after extending their lead to five making a Bobcat comeback impossible.

Moses led the way for the Bryant & Stratton dropping 18 points off of the bench. Freshman guard, Taynique Hawthorne, finished with 12 points, five assists and five rebounds. 

Robertson produced a double-double scoring 12 points and 13 boards off of the bench while freshman guard, Serinity Jackson, added 10 points. 

The Bobcats shot 32.9% from the field and 50% (16-32) from the charity stripe.

GAME 2 (BSC vs Owens CC) 75-72 Win

After a dissapointing defeat in the opening round of the classic, Bryant & Stratton was seeking the third place prize as they led Owens CC 58-51 to start the fourth quarter.

Owens CC began the fourth on a 4-0 run before Bobcats sophomore forward, Ja'Taviah Conley, knocked down a tough shot to give the Bobcats a 60-55 lead with just under nine minutes remaining.

"It is always vital to start the beginning of each quarter strong," Lorenz said. "It is very difficult to extend a lead when momentum starts swinging the other way."

Over the course of the final eight minutes both teams traded baskets as Owens CC found themselves trailing 73-72 with nine seconds left in the game.

Leading by one, Bryant & Stratton had possession with nine seconds left forcing Owens CC to foul and put veteran, Conley, at the line. After knocking down two crucial free throws, Conley gave the Bobcats a three point lead with just three seconds left on the clock.

Owens CC put up one final shot to beat the buzzer but failed to convert giving the Bobcats a third place victory in the inaugural Bobcat Classic. 

"It was a grind," Lorenz said. "Both teams battled hard and I am very proud of us for coming out with the win."

The Bobcats had four players scoring in double figures as freshman guard, Kiyanna Rodgers, had a team-high 15 points followed by Moses dropping 14 off of the bench.

Conley contributed 14 points and seven rebounds while Hawthorne added 12 points and five assists. 

Bryant & Stratton shot 33.3% from the field and 32.% from long distance. 

UP NEXT:

Bryant & Stratton will stay at home as they host McHenry County College on Tuesday night. The last time McHenry College and the Bobcats squared off was in the Region IV championship game last season at Waubonsee Community College where the Bobcats earned an 81-70 win in overtime to advance to the national tournament. 

Tip-off will take place at 5:30pm

Spectators can view the game live on the OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

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