ALEXANDRIA, La. (LSUA) - Sophomore guard/forward Danyale Bayonne scored LSUA’s last nine points in the game, including the contest’s final five to help push the #25 LSUA women’s basketball team to an undefeated five-game home stand and the season sweep of the Wiley Wildcats 68-65 Saturday afternoon at The Fort.
The game was tight throughout, but the tone for it was set on LSUA’s first possession of the contest as Bayonne got into the paint and drew a foul to earn two free throws. That was just the start of a game with plenty of fouls. The Generals tried to pull away in the first quarter as an 8-0 LSUA run helped turn a 6-4 deficit into a 12-6 Generals lead as Brittany Hall got into the paint and scored with 3:30 to go in the quarter. LSUA pushed the lead up to seven less than two minutes later as Bayonne converted another pair of free throws for an 18-11 lead with 1:44 to go in the period. The Generals held an 18-13 lead at the end of the first.
LSUA tried to get away from Wiley early in the second quarter as Bayonne was again hacked and got to the line where she again converted two free throws to give the Generals the only double digit lead of the contest at 26-16 with 7:18 remaining in the half. After Wiley scored four straight, Aja Law pushed it back up to nine as she got three points the old-fashioned way for a 30-21 lead with 5:31 left. The Wildcats answered back with seven straight to get back within two on a Brianna Tolliver three pointer with 2:30 left before halftime that made it 30-28 LSUA. The Generals maintained a 33-30 lead at the break.
Wiley started the second half strong, scoring five straight to retake the lead for the first time since 6-4 on an Armonie Lomax three as the Wildcats jumped out in front 35-33. Wiley took its largest lead of the game a few possessions later as Ty Colquitt broke a 38-38 tie with a three-pointer to give the Wildcats a 41-38 lead. Neither team would get ahead by more than one possession throughout the rest of the quarter, and fittingly the quarter ended with a 55-55 tie.
The Wildcats got the fourth quarter’s first point, but LSUA then rattled off six straight to take a 61-56 lead as Bayonne got into the paint again for another lay-up with just less than 7:30 remaining in the contest. After trading baskets, Wiley made its bid to take the contest with a 7-0 run that culminated with an Alona Bennett basket to make it 65-63 Wildcats with just 1:15 left. But, as she had all night, Bayonne put the team on her back, getting fouled and converting one of two at the stripe, and then following a Wiley offensive foul, Bayonne got to the cup again for a lay-up to give the Generals the lead for good with just less than 30 seconds left in the game. After Aja Law cleared a Wiley miss, Bayonne was fouled again and again she went one of two at the stripe to push the Generals to a 67-65 lead with 11 seconds left. Wiley would miss a desperation three, which Bayonne rebounded and was immediately fouled with just two seconds left. She hit one of two, but with no timeouts, Wiley was forced to put up a half court heave, which was way off the mark to preserve the LSUA win.
“I just felt we never could really get into our rhythm with the amount of fouls that were called,” said LSUA head coach Bob Austin. “It was a very clunky game, but when we were able to get a flow going I thought we played pretty well, though those stretches were seldom. I can’t say enough about Danyale’s effort tonight. She read the game flow and knew she could get to the foul line. Her ability to get into the lane and get lay-ups or draw fouls really carried us tonight. Also, I have to commend all of our post players because they all rotated in and really played well, which we needed with the amount of fouls being called. We battled through and came out with a tough, gritty win tonight.”
Danyale Bayonne was LSUA’s lone double-digit scorer, finishing with 28 point on just six made shots and nine total attempts. Her ability to get into the paint got her 24 free throw attempts, which she converted on 16. She also added 12 assists for her seventh double-double of the season. Courtney Dawsey filled up the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds, and four assists, as did Brittany Hall with eight points, five assists, and three steals.
It was a tough shooting night for both teams as LSUA hit on 38.9% of their shots in the contest, while Wiley was held to just 27.3% overall. The Wildcats (6-13, 4-7 RRAC) needed 30 attempts from above the arc to hit six three-pointers, while the Generals only hit on two three-point attempts, though LSUA only took 12 attempts from deep. LSUA finished the game 24 of 37 from the free throw line while Wiley was 23 of 29 at the stripe. The Generals had a 12 point advantage in points in the paint, though the Wildcats were plus-nine in second chance points.
#25 LSUA (16-4, 9-2 RRAC) heads out on the road next Friday night, looking to complete another season-series sweep in the first half of a back-to-back, this time against Paul Quinn. Tip-off against the Tigers (14-7, 8-3 RRAC) is set for 5:30 P.M. in the Tiger’s Den in Dallas.