BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. – Autumn Taylor scored 24 points and Kyla Temple and Christianna Harris added 11 each, but it was not enough as the Owls women's basketball team lost to Blue Mountain College, 84-68, on Tuesday at Tyler Gymnasium.
With her effort on Tuesday, Taylor recorded her career-high scoring as an Owl, beating her previous record of 20 points in The W's 2018 matchup at Huntingdon College. The senior from Newton, Miss. also added eight rebounds and one assist to her midweek performance.
Blue Mountain College (2-2) was more accurate in shooting throughout the night, shooting 47.69 percent from the field (31-65) while holding the Owls to 40.00 percent (24-60). From behind the arc, the Toppers went scored 9 of 24 (37.50) as The W took fewer chances only attempting seven and scoring two.
The W (0-2) performed better than BMC under the basket, bringing down 42 boards while the Toppers recorded only 34. Senior forward MyNeka Frazier led the Owls in the rebounding effort with a game-high of 12. She also added nine points to the scoring effort.
Blue Mountain put the first points on the board with a three-pointer by Olivia Chadwell a minute and three seconds after tip-off. The Owl answered seconds later and cut the Toppers lead to 3-2 with a layup from Harris.
The two teams continued to trade points for most of the first quarter but with just 2:02 left in the period, BMC went on a 13-4 run. The Owls went into the second quarter trailing 28-19.
Entering the second period of play, Briona Green stepped past the arc and sank a three-pointer to cut the Toppers lead to 28-22. The W worked to get back into the game but a layup and back-to-back three-pointers would give BMC its first double-digit lead of 34-24 with 6:47 left in the half.
In the third period, the Toppers maintained their double-digit lead, putting more and more distance between them and the Owls. The W got within 15, 49-34, on free-throws by Harris at the 7:51 mark but the BMC continued its rain of shots to close the period with a 65-48 lead.
The Owls had no better luck in the fourth quarter. The W's previous game leading scorer and hard defender Qiayon Bailey fouled out, leaving a hole in the Owls offense. The W was unable to rally back to fall 84-68.
"We started off really aggressive with good energy, but we just couldn't maintain it," said head coach Drew Johnson. "I saw immediate improvements over last game in rebounding, shot selection, and defensive pressure, but we still need to work on a number of things, most notably ball control and communication. These are things that get better the longer a group practices and plays together, and I'm confident that we will improve as longs as we stay together."
The Owls will back in action this weekend when they travel to Sewanee, Tenn. to participate in the Sewanee Basketball Classic. During the two-day event, The W will take on Johnson College and Belhaven University. To keep up with the live-action, go to the tournament page: HERE.