Blossoms defeat Arkansas Tech 67-60 before losing consecutive games


The University of Arkansas at Monticello Blossoms came into Thursday’s contest against the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns with a two goame winning streak that started at home a week earlier with a 67-56 victory over Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Arkansas Tech entered the contest with a 5-2 Great American Conference record with UAM sporting a 3-5 conference record.

The Blossoms would miss their first shot of the contest and would see the Golden Suns take off to a 7-0 run before Bailey Harris connected on a jumper to get the Blossoms on the board at the 7:43 mark.

After Arkansas Tech would score to extend the lead to 9-2, UAM would score seven straight points to tie the contest at nine with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter.

The Blossoms would gain their first lead of the contest on a jumper by Harris to take a 16-15 lead with 1:03 left in the first before ending the quarter on another successful jumper by Harris to give the Blossoms a three-point, 18-15,  advantage at the buzzer to end the quarter. 

The Blossoms would hold their lead throughout the second quarter, gaining their largest lead of the contest with 3:46 remaining in the half on a jump shot by Harris for a 10-point, 27-17, lead.

UAM would close the half with the six-point lead after Joi Montgomery laid the ball in with 22 seconds remaining in the half to give the Blossoms a 29-23 halftime lead.

Returning from the half, Arkansas Tech would make a run at the Blossoms lead, cutting the lead to one point on three different occasions in the quarter, but UAM maintained a 45-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Golden Suns took the lead in the fourth quarter but the two teams remained close on the scoreboard until the Blossoms broke a 50-50 score by going on a 11-0 run to jump to a 61-50 lead with 2:32 remaining in the contest.

The Blossoms would not relinquish the lead, taking a 67-60 victory for their third consecutive win.

Leading the way for the Blossoms was Bailey Harris with 16 points followed by Cyarah Kensmil with 13 and Joi Montgomery with 12. 

Alindsey Long and Aeryn Hawkins each scored nine, Azaria Hulbert added five, and Laia Ballcells rounded out the scoring with three. 

The Blossoms headed out on the road, travelling to Arkadelphia, to face Henderson State on Saturday, January 21.

The Blossoms were able to get the first points of the contest, but it would be the Lady Reddies that would take the advantage in the first, to outscore UAM by 10-points in the quarter for a 23-13 lead heading into the second quarter. 

The Blossoms would outscore Henderson in the second quarter 15-12, with Taylor East cutting the lead to seven points at the half on a three-pointer.

Henderson State would hold a 35-28 lead at the break.

The Blossoms would cut the Lady Reddie lead to five points in the third quarter after outscoring Henderson 16-14 in the quarter. 

A pair of successful free throws by Alindsey Long reduced the Lady Reddie lead to 49-44 heading into the fourth quarter. 

Henderson would hold the lead for the remainder of the contest, outscoring UAM 23-19 in the fourth quarter to take the 72-63 win.

Bailey Harris would lead the Blossoms in points with 14 followed by Joi Montgomery with 11 and Laia Balcells with 10.

Taylor East added nine, Alindsey Long with seven, Cyarah Kensmil and Aeryn Hawkins with five, and Azaria Hulbert rounding out the scoring with two points. 

The Blossoms would return home for a short turnaround on Monday, January 23, hosting conference rival Southern Arkansas University. 

Each team would exchange the lead throughout the first quarter with the Blossoms taking a one-point lead, 21-20 at the end of the quarter. 

The Blossoms would lead the entire second quarter, closing the quarter with an 11-point, 39-28, advantage.

SAU would come back in the third quarter to take the lead with the Blossoms battling back to tie the contest at the end of the quarter 53-53.

SAU would control the entire fourth quarter, stretching their lead to double-digits, taking a 13-point, 76-63 victory. Handing the Blossoms their second consecutive loss. 

Bailey Harris would lead in scoring with 23 points followed by Nyah Banks with 10.

Joi Montigomery added nine. Azaria Hulbert with eight, and Aeryn Hawkins and Cyarah Kensmil scored four.

 Laia Balcells and Tori Hamilton each scored two, and Alexys Grice rounding out the scoring with one.