The Bobcats were facing a tall task on Saturday, heading to face an undefeated Central Penn team whose 3-0 record was defined by a trio of impressive defensive performances.
Central Penn had won each of their three games by at least 20 points, allowing no more than 49 points to any of their three opponents. Fresh off a 74-31 win over Christendom, the Knights represented a tough test for the Bobcats.
Bryant & Stratton felt that defensive signature early in the game, as the Knights held the Bobcats to only nine points in the first quarter. The Bocbats, however, were equal to the task defensively, holding the Knights to 15 points for the period. Their patience would pay off as the Bobcats exploded for 31 points in the second quarter, enough to stake them to a halftime lead.
Dorian Sharp put an exclamation point on the second quarter breakout, hitting a buzzer beater at the half to put Bryant & Stratton ahead 40-38 at the half.
Sharp led all Bobcats in scoring once again, breaking her own program record with 35 points on the afternoon. She contributed 13 rebounds, five steals and five blocks along the way. Her play, coupled with 11 points and 11 rebounds from Shanell Glover and 10 points from Jaisy Soto, pulled the Bobcats out to a 10-point advantage as the second half opened.
But Sharp’s efforts weren’t enough to earn the Bobcats their second-straight victory. Bryant & Stratton would get into foul trouble as the second half wound down and the Knights took advantage.
Only Tionnie Spain and Soto finished without a personal foul and the Knights shot 74% from the line, chipping away at Bryant & Stratton’s lead and eventually icing the game. While the Bobcats were the first team to come within 20 points of the Knights, the 82-68 final score was still a notable margin for the victors.
Head coach Sean Knorr acknowledged that the Bobcats beat themselves, falling victim to turnovers and fouls.
“We need to learn how to play with a lead and maintain the flow of the game,” he said. “We will learn from this and hopefully we can get healthy. We’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries to key players.”
The Bobcats will get the chance to rebound on Wednesday as they head east to face Onondada Community College at 5:00. Follow the Bobcats on social media and check in on bscbobcats.com for updates.