Bayonne, Thaxton score at will as LSUA decimates Dillard
New Orleans, La. – The LSUA women’s basketball team got 55 combined points from Danyale Bayonne and Kelsey Thaxton, both of whom proved to be almost unstoppable as the Generals avenged an earlier loss in style, dominating the Dillard Bleu Devils 81-60 Saturday night at Dent Hall.
Dillard jumped out to a six-point lead midway through the first quarter as Jaiylan Brown scored to put the Bleu Devils up 13-7 with 4:15 left in the period. But the Generals started to get into rhythm from there, finishing the first period on a 13-4 run. When Danyale Bayonne scored 45 seconds left, it gave the Generals the lead for the remainder of the contest. Brittany Hall’s bucket with 20 seconds left put LSUA on top 20-17 when the first quarter came to an end.
LSUA started to assert themselves to start the second quarter, starting the period with a 15-4 advantage as another Bayonne bucket put the Generals up 35-21 with just more than six minutes left until halftime. All told, the run was 28-8 over a ten minute span that covered two quarters that helped the Generals build the double digit lead. But Dillard, who was coming off of their second win over a NCAA Division I team, wasn’t going away so easily as the Bleu Devils responded with a 17-6 run of their own to cut it down to three points on an Alyssa Washington three-pointer. Bayonne closed the half’s scoring two possessions later with another bucket to put the Generals up 43-28 at the break.
The Bleu Devils got the first bucket out of the break, but LSUA pulled away again with a 12-2 run, the last six scored by Bayonne to give the Generals a 54-42 lead with 6:20 left in the period. LSUA answered any Dillard bucket in the remainder of the period until a three-pointer with just seconds left helped the Bleu Devils pull the score to 62-53 as the third quarter came to a close.
After LSUA let a late lead get away in the first meeting against the Bleu Devils earlier this season, the Generals made sure there would be no repeat performance as LSUA dominated the fourth quarter, holding Dillard to just seven points in the final period. Courtney Dawsey found Danyale Bayonne open for a basket to start the period and LSUA’s lead would not dip back under double digits again. With the defense strangling the Bleu Devil offense, the lead continued to grow throughout the period until it hit 21 points as Bayonne found Aja Law under the bucket for a lay-up and a 78-57 lead with less than three minutes remaining. The two teams traded three pointers to close out the scoring with Kelsey Thaxton’s three pointer with a minute remaining providing the game’s final points.
“This is perhaps our most complete game of the season and shows what we are capable of,” said LSUA head coach Bob Austin. “Defensively, we held our positions well and forced them to take low percentage shots, and did so without fouling and didn’t give up many second chance opportunities. Offensively, the ball moved well and got our scorers good looks at the basket. I know Danyale and Kelsey probably felt the hoop was as big as the ocean tonight and they couldn’t miss. I’m happier to see 26 assists on 31 made baskets and feel Brittany and Courtney distributed the ball well all throughout the evening. This is another key win to add to the others we’ve gotten this season but now we have to keep this momentum going into conference play.”
Danyale Bayonne picked up the tenth 30-point game in program history, scoring her 30 points on 13 made shots in 22 attempts, including a made three-pointer. She also got her third double-double of the season, second in a row and second against Dillard this season, with ten rebounds in the game. Bayonne had 22 points and 11 rebounds Monday night against SUNO and 12 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting this season against the Bleu Devils. Kelsey Thaxton hit nine of the 11 shots she took, including seven of eight from above the arc, to finish the night with 25 points while also finishing with seven rebounds. Brittany Hall completed the contest with ten assists and eight rebounds. Courtney Dawsey was on triple-double alert, finishing with eight points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot. Aja Law was also on the cusp of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Generals rounded out the game hitting 50% of their shots overall, equaling that by hitting 50% of their shots from above the arc. LSUA also converted ten of their 15 attempts at the charity stripe. For their part, Dillard (8-3) was held to just 32.9% shooting overall and only 22.2% from beyond the arc. While the Bleu Devils, who received votes in the NAIA Preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, they only got six second chance points, compared to 12 for the Generals.
LSUA (7-2) now starts Red River Athletic Conference play on Friday as the Generals head to Hawkins, Texas to take on Jarvis Christian. Tip-off against the Bulldogs (0-9) is set for 5:30 P.M. at Earl Rand Gymnasium.