By Kira Nicole Grant, Staff Reporter
The Howard University Women’s Basketball Team earned their first win of the season after defeating the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Retrievers 72-61 in a matchup at the UMBC Event Center Saturday, Nov. 9.
After falling short in their season opener to La Salle University, the Lady Bison opened up the contest with great energy, led by Ayonna Williams (guard), Imani Bryant (forward), Jayla Myles (center), Jayla Thornton (guard) and Sarah Edmond (guard).
The Lady Bison were led by the junior prolific three-point scorer Thornton who posted 20 points, knocking down four three-pointers and shooting 50 percent from the field — leading all scorers of the game. Four players boasted double-digit totals for the Bison, including Myles with 10 points, Williams with 14 points and Edmond with 16 points.
After kicking off their regular season opener with aggressiveness on the offensive side of the ball, the Lady Bison opened up this contest with similar intensity winning the tipoff. The Bison are the first to score points in the first quarter 30 seconds into the game, on layup made by Bryant, followed by a Myles block to keep the Retrievers off the scoreboard. With under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, a free-throw made by Williams gave the Bison a 13-11 lead that the women would carry out to end the first quarter.
The Lady Bison went on a 21 point scoring spree led by Williams, Edmond and freshman forward Brooklyn Fort-Davis. The Bison’s defense stopped the Retrievers, holding them to only four points and forcing four turnovers down the stretch.
In the second quarter, the Retrievers outscored the Bison 15-10 led by Lyric Swann, Dominika Skrocka, Eryn Fisher and Paula Rubio. For the Bison, Thornton drained one of her four three-point shots a minute and 14 seconds into the second quarter. Both Williams and sophomore forward-wing Krislyn Marsh made a few free-throws and layups to keep the Bison ahead, 35-30 going into intermission.
Following the intermission, the Bison shot 47 percent from the field while holding their opponents to 5-of-17 shooting, 29.41 percent from the field.
In the fourth quarter of the contest, the UMBC Retrievers outscored the Bison 20-17, but to no avail— with all of the starters piling on points to seal the game for the Lady Bison.
To end the night, senior guard Ayonna Williams recorded 14 points, four steals, four rebounds and one assist. Redshirt junior center, Jayla Myles, earned her first double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks, and one steal.
Both players have earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) honors for their great play; Williams hailed MEAC Co-Player of the Week and Myles a co-winner of the women’s basketball league’s top defender award.
The Lady Bison are scheduled to return to Burr Gymnasium for their next home game Nov. 17 against the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, searching for their second win of the season.
Although, the Lady Bison have won on the road without bison fans to cheer them on before, junior guard Jayla Thornton encourages Howard University students and faculty to attend their home games.
“The school spirit plays a major role in what we do because it feels good to have the support and understanding from our peers. It also helps motivate us to push through and accomplish our goal, which is to win!”