Former Campbell Lady Cougar Sarah Cain (#45) tallied six points in Bryan’s Wednesday night win.
GRAYSON, KY (WLAF) – It was a memorable win on Wednesday night for Bryan women’s basketball junior guard, Karli Combs, who scored her 1,000th career point after posting a team-high 23 points in helping lead the 17th-ranked Lions to a 97-55 routing of fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference member Kentucky Christian University. The Rutledge, Tennessee,native and former Grainger High School standout matched her season-high in the scoring column, and collected majority of the points in her normal fashion, with a barrage of three-pointers. She missed only one of her attempts from the perimeter, finishing 7-of-8 while hitting 2-for-2 at the foul line.
The Knights struggled to contain the vast assortment of offensive weapons on the Lions’ team; Kaitlynn Hennessee, Destiny Kassner, and Shayla Ludy each tallied double-figures with 13, 12, and 10 points, respectively. Reigning AAC Player of the Week Deandra Luna and Tristan McClellan chipped in 9 points apiece while Sarah Cain trailed with 6 points. All three of Braylee Franklin, Tori Burnette, and Faith Simmons added 3 points each, and the trio of Morgan Hembree, Amadea Pankey, and Myah Parlier notched 2 points each. All 13 Lions took part in the scoring effort. Hennessee and Luna tied each other for a team-best 5 assists, followed by Combs’ 3. Helping Bryan win the rebounding battle 40-32 was Pankey who corralled a team-leading 9 boards and Hennessee who came next with 8. McClellan posed a problem for Kentucky Christian on the defensive end by swiping a game-high 3 steals.
Bryan was dialed in from deep, picking apart Kentucky Christian with a 63.6 three-point percentage (21-for-33) compared to their 15.8 percent (3-for-19). The Lions clawed their way to a 48.6 field goal percentage in the outing and held the home team to just 33.3 percent.
The Knights opened the first quarter with a 4-0 advantage through two minutes of play, but a quick response by the Lions took away from Kentucky Christian what would be their only lead of the entire game. Combs caught passes from Hennessee, Cain, and Luna and made each go down as assists with straight treys to propel Bryan ahead 9-6 at the 6-minute mark. Another minute ran off before Hennessee scored in the paint to make it a 5-point separation, 11-6. The Lions maintained the small lead heading into the second quarter, 15-10. The start of the second quarter was when Bryan seized complete control of the game, beginning with back-to-back triples by Luna and another three-point dagger from the hands of Combs to build a 14-point deficit only one and a half minutes into the period. The double-digit lead remained for the rest of the meeting. A last-second three-pointer by Luna right before halftime kept Bryan in front of Kentucky Christian 43-27.
At 8:28 in the third quarter, the Knights charged forward with an attack that briefly slimmed the gap to 12 points, 47-35, but Kassner caught the three-point bug and sailed in two consecutive treys that sparked an overwhelming 17-0 run for a 29-point edge near the 3-minute mark. A three by Ludy at 2:06 gave Bryan their first 30-point lead of the game, 67-37, which they were able to hold onto by the end of the stanza with a second-chance basket capitalized on by McClellan in the final moments, 72-42. By the midway point of the fourth quarter, the Lions surged ahead for 20 points and held the Knights to a mere 4 points in the 5-minute span. When the final buzzer sounded, it was Bryan who took home the commanding victory by a margin of 42 points, 97-55.
Bryan wraps up their 4-game road stretch this weekend when they travel to Southern States Athletic Conference challenger Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) on Saturday, Dec. 14 for a 3pm tip-off. The Lions already took down the RedHawks when Bryan hosted Martin Methodist in their season-opener. The RedHawks currently own an overall record of 7-2. After the decision at Kentucky Christian, the Lions lifted their overall record to 12-0 and conference mark to 9-0 while dropping the Knights to 5-10 overall and 3-7 in the AAC.