Lander topples Armstrong

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GREENWOOD – Lander’s Breshay Johnson recorded a double-double while teammate Jessica Harris had a near perfect shooting day, leading the Bearcats past Peach Belt Conference rival Armstrong State 86-62 Saturday afternoon at Horne Arena.

Lander improved to 11-5 overall, 5-3 in the Peach Belt. The Pirates fell to 7-11, 3-6.

Johnson led the Bearcats with 23 points on eight of 11 shooting from the floor while adding 11 rebounds. The senior moved up to fourth in Lander’s career rebounding list with 1,058, passing Lorain Truesdale during Saturday’s game.

Harris added 19 points while leading the Bearcats with six assists. Harris made seven of eight shots from the floor, including four of four from behind the 3-point line.

Mylea McKenith added 17 points for Lander while Ty’hesha Reynolds contributed 14 points, surpassing the 1,400-point plateau for her Bearcats career.

Jessica Doyle and Brianna Gipson paced Armstrong with 14 points apiece while Imari Montalvo added 10 points. Gipson and Montalvo led the Pirates with five rebounds apiece, Ashlyn Ellison scored nine points and Lauren Woods added eight points.

Lander led 16-9 on a Johnson free throw with 1:44 to go in the first. After Doyle converted a reverse layup off a back-door cut to pull Armstrong within 17-14, the Bearcats closed the quarter with Johnson’s three-point play for a 20-14 advantage heading into the second period.

Harris’s 3 from the right side and Tabitha Dailey‘s long jumper gave Lander its biggest lead of the game to that point at 30-16 at the seven-minute mark.

Doyle’s basket in the paint capped an 8-0 Pirates run, pulling the visitors within 30-24 with 3:21 left. But Reynolds drove the baseline and made a reverse layup, then made another layup off a fast-break, was fouled and converted the three-point play for a 35-24 lead.

The baskets by Reynolds were the start of an 18-4 Bearcats run to close the first half. Johnson converted a three-point play, Alexius High and Harris made 3s, Reynolds hit a pair of free throws, and Johnson added a layup for a 48-28 halftime advantage.

Gipson’s basket closed Armstrong within 55-40 with 6:09 to go in the third. But Reynolds made a 3 and Johnson scored inside, increasing Lander’s lead to 60-40 with 5:17 left.

The Bearcats led 64-45 going into the final quarter.

Harris’s 3 which bounced high off the back of the rim and dropped in gave Lander a 69-47 advantage with 8:15 to go. Destinee Langford followed with a 3 and a layup, increasing the Bearcat lead to 74-49 with 7:19 left.

Harris’s no-look pass between two defenders in the paint to Johnson for a layup upped Lander’s lead to 84-62 with one minute to go.

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