title image via Kevin Dorsey
Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athletics
Freshmen Kyla Bryant and Jada Tiggett both flirted with double-doubles for the North Carolina Central University women’s basketball team in a difficult 70-67 road loss in which host Jacksonville University scored the final nine points.
The Eagles had four players foul out and even played with just four players for a few moments in the final 90 seconds while one player was dealing with an injury and the Dolphins took advantage with a closing 15-3 run, including the last nine points, while NCCU was held without a made field goal for nearly the final seven minutes.
Junior Isamery Telleria Agramonte hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with just over one minute left to play to keep Jacksonville (4-5) perfect at home (4-0) and NC Central (3-6) winless on the road (0-6).
Bryant paced the Eagles with new career-highs of 26 points and eight rebounds. She also looked to have put NCCU back ahead in the final minute when she made a runner down the right baseline, but she was called for a travel on the play, which was the Eagles 23rd turnover of the contest.
Tiggett produced 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds as NCCU’s rookie duo finished with 36 points and 16 rebounds. Senior Tippy Robertson also had a strong performance for the Eagles, supplying 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
After a low scoring first quarter in which NCCU fell behind 14-7, the Eagles started the second quarter on a 14-4 run. Bryant connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to cap the rally and her second one momentarily put the visitors ahead by three points, 21-18. Jacksonville regained a small lead, but Bryant drilled a deep 3-pointer as time was expiring in the half to level the score, 30-30, heading into the locker room.
Bryant led all players at the midway point with 15 points. She then connected on her fourth and final 3-pointer of the contest on the opening possession of third quarter to put the maroon and gray ahead for the next 18 minutes. The Eagles led by as many as eight points in the third before setting for a four-point edge, 53-49, at the end of the period.
Bryant made two free throws at the 6:24 mark of the fourth quarter to finish off a 7-0 surge that lifted NCCU to its largest advantage of the night at 64-55, but Jacksonville outscored the Eagles 15-3 from that point.
The Dolphins shot 20 more free throws than the Eagles, going 23-of-34 (67.6%) from the charity stripe, including an impressive 7-of-8 by freshman Sana’a Garrett, including two freebees with about 10 seconds left that forced NCCU into taking a difficult potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final moments that missed its mark.
Senior Kimeira Burks chipped in seven points and a game-high five steals before becoming the first of four Eagles to foul out.
Junior Edyn Battle led the Dolphins in most statistical categories with totals of 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
NC Central will next play at UNC Greensboro on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Next Game: at UNC Greensboro 12/14/2023 | 7:00 PM