DAYTON, Tenn. – Coming off one of their best team wins of the season on Thursday, the CIU women’s basketball team faced another challenge on Saturday as they battled the Bryan College Lions.
The Lions are an Appalachian Athletic Conference power, having won the last three out of four AAC Women’s Basketball Championships. CIU (7-10) has never beaten (RV) Bryan (8-2) but had their chances this afternoon, leading for some of the first half. However, the Lions pulled away in the fourth quarter defeating the Rams, 99-81.
The Rams found themselves trailing by as much as 22-11 with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter. CIU freshman Madison Ferrara knocked down back to back 3-pointers in the quarter’s waning moments to bring the score to 25-19 after one.
Jordin McQueen started the second quarter with a 3-pointer, and the Rams would take their biggest lead of the half, 37-33, after a Tiona Walls bucket at the 3:09 mark. Despite outscoring the Lions 24-20 in the second quarter, CIU trailed 45-43 at the break.
Bryan fought hard to separate themselves from the Rams and took a 51-45 lead early in the half. A Queeneka Howard triple trimmed down the lead to just 51-48, and then a few minutes later, Jordin McQueen found the bottom of the net from deep as well.
Despite excellent shooting, CIU still lagged behind the Lions 71-63 going into the fourth quarter. Hannah Trawick scored seven straight points to start the final period, but Bryan answered with two 3–pointers from Gracee Dishman. Zion Neat hit two 3-pointers of her own down the stretch, but CIU could not quite overcome the Lions, and Bryan surged forward late 99-81.
“I think we followed the game plan and shot the ball well,” head coach Danielle Fleming said. “We made some defensive errors that cost us, but I thought we competed and improved as a team overall. I will take this as a lesson, not a loss.”
Jordin McQueen led the Rams with 16 points and eight rebounds. McQueen was a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc.
Freshman Zion Neat had 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists while shooting 50% from the field. Madison Ferrara and Keniah Watkins were the other two players in double-digits as Ferrara scored 13 points and Watkins had 10 points. Ferrara shot well from deep, going 3-5 from 3-point range.
CIU will return home on Tuesday, Jan. 19 to host Montreat College at 5 p.m.