Bryant scores 31 as Panthers defeat Rust at home, 51-44

Yorisha Bryant (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)
Yorisha Bryant (photo by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by senior Yorisha Bryant with a career-high 31 points, the Birmingham-Southern women's basketball team rallied to defeat Rust College, 51-44, Wednesday evening in Bill Battle Coliseum.

The Panthers moved to 12-1 after suffering their first loss of the season this past Sunday against Oglethorpe. The Bearcats fell to 1-16.

Rust opened the game by pulling out to an 8-2 lead, and led 12-10 by the end of the first period. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with the Panthers shooting only 18.8 percent (3-16) in the second period which led to the Bearcats leading 22-16 at the half.

BSC finally tied things up mid-way through the third period, 24-24 and then 27-27, before taking the first lead of the game on a pair of Bryant free throws. However, a Rust jumper before the end of the third put the score back in a tie, 29-29.

The teams traded three-pointers to open the fourth period, and another pair of free throws from Bryant put the Panthers back in the lead, 34-32. BSC stayed just ahead of the Bearcats until the two-minute mark when a three-pointer put Rust ahead 44-43, but those were the final points of the game for the visitors. The Panthers scored eight unanswered points after that, six from Bryant, to seal the victory.

Bryant shot 9-15 from the field for her career-high 31 points, and she also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Junior Jasmynn Batts added 10 points on 4-9 shooting, and senior Halle Knowles led with three assists.

The Panthers are on the road this weekend, traveling to Jackson, Miss., to face Southern Athletic Association opponent Millsaps on Saturday at 3 p.m.