The College of Southern Maryland women's basketball team began their 2019-20 season with a win over Bryant & Stratton College (VA) on November 8. The Hawks beat the Bobcats 55-52.
In the first quarter, Bryant & Stratton pulled ahead 11-6. However, CSM went on a 8-0 run in the last 1:30 of the quarter to take a 14-11 lead.
In the second quarter, the Hawks used an 11-0 run to go up 25-17 with 4:28 left in the half, but Bryant & Stratton answered with a 10-2 run to tie the score at halftime.
"We really shot ourselves in the foot a lot, because we would turn the ball over, had a lot of unforced turnovers," CSM head coach Ardell Jackson said. "Every time we had a five-point lead, we'll turn it over a couple times and get [Bryant & Stratton] back in the game."
CSM committed 15 turnovers in the game, while Bryant & Stratton made 18.
CSM tried to pull away from the Bobcats in the third quarter when they went up 41-32 with 1:18 left in the quarter, but two Bryant & Stratton 3-pointers in the last minute cut it to 41-38.
Bryant & Stratton went up 47-42 with 3:18 remaining in the game. The Hawks had one final run in them, though, as they outscored the Bobcats 13-5 the rest of the way with clutch baskets from freshmen Karalina Lawrence and Imani Holloway and sophomore Amaya Yancey.
"As we settled down, down the stretch with about two, three minutes left, we started breaking their press because we started doing the things that we know we can do, moving the ball a lot quicker than attacking," Jackson said.
"I felt good about them because they really showed that they can actually play D and hold a team and grind a game out," Jackson said of his team gutting out the win. "In this league, there aren't going to be blowouts every night. You're going to have to play."
Lawrence recorded a double-double in her first collegiate game. She finished the night with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
"To me, she's great," Jackson said of Lawrence. "First game, had some first game jitters earlier. She hit some big shots for us down the stretch, she got some big rebounds, and hit some big free throws down the stretch, so I was proud of her.
"The funny thing is, she was the leading scorer tonight, and to me, she could have played 10 times better. Once she gets to that point, it's going to be a cakewalk for her."
Yancey had a double-double as well with 12 points and 15 assists. She also had six rebounds and four steals.
Holloway had seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three steals in the contest. Freshman Maranda Carey also added seven points, nine rebounds, two steals, and a block.
The Hawks converted on 12 of their 21 free-throw attempts, while Bryant & Stratton only went 1-3 from the free-throw line. CSM also outrebounded the Bobcats 53-29.
The Hawks return to the court Tuesday, November 19 when the Community College of Philadelphia comes to La Plata.