Cotton Blossoms halt three-game slide with blowout win
Going into last Thursday’s contest against Southern Arkansas University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Cotton Blossoms had dropped their previous two contests, and were even in the Greast American Conference with a 4-4 record.
The Blossoms got on the board first with the first two buckets made by Nina Kizzee to give UAM a 4-0 lead.
SAU gained their first lead in the contest with 7 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter after a jumper by Lena Maledon. UAM regained the lead on its next possession after a jumper by MacKenzie Johnson hit its mark.
SAU tied the contest at eight with 5:15 in the first, but UAM regained the lead after a pair of free throws by Johnson. UAM remained in the lead until the 2:39 mark when SAU’s Olivia McWilliams connected on a three-point shot to give SAU a 14-12 lead. SAU would finish the quarter with a four-point advantage.
The Muleriders continued to lead throughout the second quarter of play, with the biggest lead being seven points twice in the quarter. SAU took a 28-25 lead into the locker room at the half.
SAU continued to lead UAM in the third quarter taking a nine-point lead into the final quarter of play. In that fourth period, SAU continued to expand its lead, taking a 14-point lead at the 3:22 and the 2:02 mark of the quarter. SAU finished the contest with a six-point, 62-56, victory handing the Blossoms their third consecutive loss.
Leading the way for the Blossoms was Johnson with 19 points. Berniezha Tidwell scored 11 points, Jaida Harden 10 and Kizzee eight. Chari Swift rounded out the Blossom scoring with four points.
The Blossoms were able to get back in the win column two days later, taking on Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia to begin a three-game road trip.
In the contest, UAM and OBU traded the lead to begin the first quarter before the Blossoms took the lead with 7:17 remaining in the quarter and began to expand on the lead throughout the first before taking a seven-point lead into the second quarter.
UAM continued to build on the success of the first quarter, maintaining the lead throughout the second quarter of play. The Blossoms’ biggest lead of the quarter came with 56 seconds remaining after a three-pointer by Whitney O’Dell gave UAM a 17-point, 41-24, lead.
UAM went into halftime with a 15-point, 43-28, lead.
Ouachita cut UAM’s lead to nine points with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter, but the Blossoms finished the quarter with a double-digit advantage.
Leading 45-34 heading into the fourth quarter, UAM outscored SAU once again to take an 84-54 victory.
Leading the way for UAM was Harden with 22 points followed by Johnson with 20. Tidwell finished with 12 points, Dezirae King with nine, O’Dell with seven and Swift with six. Kizzee ended the game with five points and Briana Hayles rounded out the scoring with three points.
With the win, UAM improves to 5-10 on the season and 4-6 in the GAC. UAM will travel to Bethany, Okla. to take on Southern Nazarene University at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Blossoms will finish the three-game road trip with a 1 p.m. tip at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla. Saturday.