The Maryville College Scots honored the life of Brittany Johnson on Sunday, as Maryville's defensive pressure and rebounding pushed them past the Huntingdon College Hawks, 77-53.
The Scots honored Johnson on Sunday with a moment of silence, while taking donations to be given to the Brittany Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Johnson – a senior guard on the Scots' basketball squad – was tragically killed in a single-car accident on Aug. 28. near Cleveland, Tenn. She was a resident of Louisville, Tenn. and a graduate of William Blount High School. Johnson was majoring in physical education.
"It was a tough locker room," Travillian said, talking of before the day's contest. "We're talking about honoring the memory of Brittany Johnson – one of our own: our teammate, a roommate, a hotel mate. All those things – you travel with them, and you're with them every day. They're your family, and that's a tough thing. This has been an emotional season for our kids. Since Brittany's accident, every day, it's something different. Everything is a first. You never know, but I think they are doing an incredible job of coping, healing and learning. We've talked a lot about trying to move forward."
Some of that healing came Sunday, as the Scots earned the hard-fought victory in her honor. Also, a total of $3,101 were raised for the memorial scholarship in her name.
However, the reach goes beyond just Maryville College. Travillian thanked Huntingdon College coaches Buzz Phillips and Paige Huff – along with the Hawks' student-athletes.
"I do want to say to Buzz and Paige, and to the Huntingdon team, it was an unbelievably classy move," Travillian said. "When they came in today, they all were wearing yellow ribbons in honor of Brittany. I just thought that was a first-class move. It doesn't surprise me, because Buzz is a first-class man, but just an unbelievably classy move by their program."
During Sunday's contest, Maryville jumped to an early lead in the first quarter. The Scots held the Hawks without a field goal for 9:43 of the 10-minute quarter, taking a 17-4 lead. That lead included a 13-0 run to start the contest.
Maryville held Huntingdon to a 6.3 percent effort from the floor in the first quarter, as the Hawks could only manage a 1-for-16 mark. MC forced seven turnovers, while posting eight points off those miscues.
At the end of the first half, Maryville would extended that lead to 36-19, as the Scots shot 40 percent (16-of-40) from the floor. MC had 13 assists on 16 made buckets, while forcing 15 Huntingdon turnovers.
The Scots would score 17 points off turnovers, as the undersized Maryville squad dominated the paint with a 22-4 margin.
The Orange and Garnet would ride that first-half momentum to a 77-53 USA South victory, while outscoring Huntingdon 40-16 in the paint. The Scots outrebounded their Alabama counterparts, 62-45 in the contest, while holding the Hawks to just a 25.7 percent (18-of-70) effort from the floor.
Maryville (2-6, 1-0 USA South) was led by Rachel Hawn's double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. She added six assists and a pair of steals in the game, while going 8-of-15 from the floor.
Haley Talbott had 16 points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block in the game, while Madison Maples had 12 points. Amber Hudgens rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block off the bench.
Lauren Biliter had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds, as she tallied four assists and a steal. Libby Gardner added five points and a game-high eight assists against the Hawks. Elsa Eckenrod had four points and seven rebounds, as Janie Boals added two points. Holland Jerrolds and Shelby Hix each had a points for Maryville.
The Scots shot 29-of-77 (37.7 percent) for the game, while bucketing five treys. They tallied 24 assist with those 29 field goals on the day, while bolstering 17 fast-break points.
Huntingdon (6-2, 1-1) was led by Payton Kiser's 22-point effort, as she went 5-of-18 from behind the arc. T.I. Duncan had 11 points, as the 6-foot-2 Juliette Harp had 10 rebounds. Maryville held the center to an 0-of-7 effort from the floor, as each of her four points came at the charity stripe.
Maryville will look next to an East vs. West battle of the USA South. The Scots will host Ferrum College at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, before taking on Averett University at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17. Both contests will be non-conference matchups.