Lady Buc cagers struggle early but get past Robert C. Byrd by a 67-34 score

Kennedy Samargo (10) of the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs, shown in this file photo, came off the bench to score five points and collect three steals in their contest with the Robert C. Byrd Lady Eagles Friday night in Clarksburg. The Lady Bucs won a 67-34 decision. The Lady Bucs improved to 9-5 on the season.

CLARKSBURG – It was the same reoccurring theme for the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs against the Robert C. Byrd Lady Eagles here Friday night in a Big 10 Conference contest.

The Lady Bucs once again started out sluggish against an inferior team but absolutely flipped the switch in the second half for an easy win as the Lady Bucs almost doubled up the Lady Eagles by a 67-34 score.

The Lady Bucs found themselves down by one midway through the first half, at 17-16, to the three-win Lady Eagles.

But then they outscored Robert C. Byrd by a 38-14 margin in the second half and they racked up their ninth win of the season.

The slow starts continue to perplex Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Rob Kittle.

“I just don’t know why we come out with a lack of energy and excitement like we do,” remarked Kittle. “We seem to play down to our competition all the time and its frustrating. We can sit here and coach them and yell at them, but nothing works. It’s something that I guess they are going to have to figure out for themselves at this point.”

While the offense still tries to sort out things, nothing has been wrong with the B-U defense as they turned the Lady Eagles over 39 times.

The Lady Bucs found themselves down by a 4-0 score before Audrey Gaudet scored on a lay-up 2:12 into the game.

Haley Willey scored a lay-up at the 4:01 mark to give the Lady Eagles a 7-2 lead.

Kittle again subbed his five starters out for his five bench players after just the one basket in the first five minutes of the game.

Kennedy Samargo entered the game for B-U and drained a 3-pointer to make it a 7-5 contest.

The starters were put back in with a minute to go and Leigh Ann Bennett went inside for a lay-up and Gaudet flipped in a pair of free throws to make it a 9-9 contest at the end of the first.

Willey scored the first points of the second quarter for Robert C. Byrd, but Brooklyn Maxwell uncorked a trey and Bennett downed two free throws and a jumper to give B-U their first lead, at 16-11 with two minutes gone in the second quarter.

Robert C. Byrd scored the next six points to retake the lead at 17-16 with 4:23 left in the half.

The Lady Eagles extended their lead to two, at 20-18, but the Lady Bucs closed the half on an 11-0 run.

Bennett, Kassidy Wilfong and Maxwell all scored inside the paint, Shelby McDaniels uncorked a trey and Wilfong scored on a jumper in the paint to treat the Lady Bucs to a 29-20 advantage.

“They decided to play at that point,” Kittle stated.

Like their recent past games, the Lady Bucs simply dominated the second half.

With the Lady Bucs still leading by nine, at 35-26, B-U shutout Robert C. Byrd the rest of the quarter and went on a 14-0 run.

Maxwell, Gaudet and Bennett all scored lay-ups to push their lead to 15, at 41-26, with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Gaudet then scored two straight baskets to keep the run going and McDaniels closed the quarter with a pair of lay-ups to make it a 49-26 contest heading into the fourth quarter.

Gaudet scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, and after a Robert C. Byrd free throw, Maxwell put in a rebound to up the Lady Buc lead to 29, at 56-27, with 90 seconds gone in the final frame.

With Kittle substituting freely at this point, the Lady Bucs built their biggest lead of the game, at 33 points, on a McKenzie Kittle old-fashioned three-point play with 46 seconds remaining.

Gaudet led the Lady Bucs again in the scoring column with 17.

“She is just stepping up and leading by example with Alli Robinson out,” Kittle stated about Gaudet. “That is what we ask from her and that is what she is providing. I am very proud of her.”

McDaniels added 13 points while Bennett chipped in 10.

“Really everybody is stepping up with an extra work-load with Alli out,” Kittle explained. “I am happy with our seniors and our underclassmen for stepping up.”

Willey led Robert C. Byrd with 14 points while Rhiannon Haller had seven.

The loss dropped Robert C. Byrd to 3-12 overall and 1-8 in the Big 10 Conference.

The Lady Bucs improved to 9-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big 10 Conference.

They will be back in action Wednesday when they visit Morgantown for a non-conference game starting at 7:30 p.m.

The team will stay on the road Friday for a Big 10 Conference outing with the Philip Barbour Lady Colts starting at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Buck.-Upshur             9  20  20  18 – 67

Robert C. Byrd               9  11  6  8 – 34

Buckhannon-Upshur 67

Leigh Ann Bennett 4-9 2-2 10, Brooklyn Maxwell 4-9 0-0 9, Audrey Gaudet 7-13 3-3 17, Shelby McDaniels 6-10 0-0 13, McKenzie Kittle 3-9 1-1 7, Sydney Fletcher 1-2 0-0 2, Kassidy Wilfong 2-5 0-0 4, Kennedy Samargo 2-4 0-0 5, Alayna Nesbitt 0-0 0-0 0, Ciara Melton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-62 6-6 67.

Robert C. Byrd 34

Anna Gallo 1-1 0-0 2, Sophie Banko 0-2 1-4 1, Kelley Berg 0-0 0-2, McKenzie Lamm 2-6 0-0 5, Kiersten King 1-4 1-2 3, Sarah Morris 0-1 2-2 2, Rhiannon Haller 3-6 1-2 7, Angelica Roberts 0-0 0-0 0, Hayley Willey 7-13 0-0 14, Pirtle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-33 5-12 34.

Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Maxwell 1-1 , McDaniels 1-1, Samargo 1-1, Bennett 0-2, Kittle 0-2, Totals 3-7. Robert C. Byrd: Lamm 1-1, Banko 0-1. Totals 1-2.

Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: McDaniels 7, Maxwell 4, Bennett 2, Gaudet 2, Wilfong 2, Kittle 1, Fletcher 1, Samargo 1, team 6, deadlball 0; Totals 26; Robert C. Byrd: Haller 7, Banko 5, Willey 4, Berg 3, Lamm 2, King 2, Gallo 1, Morris 1, team 4, deadlball 4. Totals 33.

Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Bennett 5, Nesbitt 3, Gaudet 2, McDaniels 2, Kittle 1, Maxwell 1, Wilfong 1,. Totals 15; Robert C. Byrd: Lamm 3, Banko 2,  Willey 2, Berg 2, King 2, Haller 1, Pirtle 1. Totals 13.

Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Maxwell 6, McDaniels 5, Bennett 5,  Samargo 3, Gaudet 2, Melton 1. Totals 22; Robert C. Byrd: Banko 3, Lamm 2, King 2, Berg 1. Totals 8.

Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: Kittle 1, Maxwell 1. Totals 2; Robert C. Byrd Willey 1. Totals 1.

Personal fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 11; Robert C. Byrd: 9

Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 16; Robert C. Byrd: 39.

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