The Bob Jones University Lady Bruins defeated the Allen University Jackets 83-78 on Friday night thanks to strong offensive performances from guards Kendra Jeffcott and Hannah Tompkins.
Both offenses came out stagnate to begin the game, but BJU’s Jeffcott finally found the net after several strong drives to the hoop. At the 4:34 media break, the Bruins held a five-point lead, limiting the Jackets to just two points.
After the break, the Bruins caught fire, and Sha’Ron Brunson hit two big threes. The Bruins used great defense and excellent ball movement on offense to close the first quarter up 24-14.
In the second quarter, both teams started out slowly on offense, until Brunson hit another three to give the Bruins a 30-20 lead. Bhrianna Jackson quickly followed with another basket from beyond the arc. Both teams battled back and forth in a very physical game until Tompkins hit a huge three pointer with 2:52 left to give BJU a 41-28 lead. BJU’s strong defense held through the rest of the quarter, and BJU went into the locker room at the half with a 47-32 lead.
Jeffcott had a sensational first half, tallying 15 points, while Tompkins put up 10 points. Bridgette Gleed and Julia Wright pulled down five rebounds each.
The Bruins made 39 percent of their three-pointers in the first half, and that number proved key throughout the rest of the game.
The third quarter proved physical, as both teams had players diving for loose balls and fighting for rebounds.
Despite the large halftime deficit, the Jackets kept fighting, slowly narrowing the gap to just 55-48 with 3:12 left in the quarter.
The Jackets began to implement a 1-3-1-zone defense that stymied the Bruins’ half court offense. With the lull in scoring for BJU, the Jackets turned several turnovers into layups to take the lead into the fourth quarter 58-56.
“Offensively, we kept turning the ball over [in the third quarter,]” Jeffcott said. “I think another big thing was our defense. [We] let them get through the lane and make some easy layups.”
The dramatic fourth quarter began with the Bruins trying to attack the interior of the Jackets’ defense. Getting the ball into the top of the key opened up the wings, and the Bruins began to knock down shots from behind the arc.
After Maggi Ford hit a three from the right corner, Tompkins followed with another from the opposite corner, and the Bruins went on a run to regain the lead at 68-64, giving the Bruins a lead they would not relinquish.
The Jackets fought until the end, but could not overcome the deficit, eventually falling to the Bruins 83-78.
Tompkins finished with 25 points, going 6-9 from beyond the arc. Jeffcott added 21 points and eight rebounds. Julia Wright ended with 12 rebounds, Gleed tallied 11.
As a team, the Bruins shot an amazing 41.4 percent from behind the arc, while the Jackets shot just 20.8 percent.
“I felt like we got a little tentative there in the third quarter,” coach Mike LeViere said. “But then we pulled out of it. They want to win and be successful, and they’re working hard toward it.”
With the win, the Bruins improve to 13-10 on the season. They will next take the court on Feb. 9 against Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina.