BRYANT – The Bryant Hornets hosted the Russellville Cyclones on Tuesday night and sent them back home with a 53-43 defeat as the Hornets capitalized on the Cyclones’ aggressiveness. Bryant made 25 of 32 (78 percent) free throws opposed to Russellville’s 5 of 8.
“It was probably the ugliest game I’ve ever been associated with in terms of offense,” Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said. “We both played really good defense, we both had each other scouted well. Both sets of kids did a great job of taking away our offensive looks.
“A lot of stoppages. It was kind of like a chess match. I knew everything they were going to do, [Russellville’s coach] knew everything we were going to do and the kids were executing it. It was a good game in terms of strategy and trying to fight through, but wasn’t a pretty game to watch.”
The game was tied 9-9 after one quarter of play and the Hornets (8-1) held an 18-13 advantage at the half. Bryant was up by 14 at one point, but the Cyclones would hit shots to stay in the game. Russellville also went to a half-court trap, midway through the third quarter, which led to fouls and the Hornets getting to the free-throw line.
“That was definitely the difference,” Abrahamson said of the free-throw shooting. “It ended up with us shooting a lot of free throws for them trying to stay in the game. That was the difference.”
Senior guard CJ Rainey and sophomore guard KJ Hill were the main recipients for the free-throw line trips with Rainey hitting 10 of 12 and Hill hitting 11 of 13. Hill finished with a game-high 23 points with Rainey following with 17.
“Just a defensive struggle,” Abrahamson said. “It was an ugly game, but it was a win so we’ll take it.”
The Hornets will play next on Friday when they travel to Cabot to play the Panthers.