This one got away from Truman.
Up by seven at halftime, the Mustangs were eventually worn down by Francis Lewis’ depth in a 59-54 road loss in PSAL girls’ basketball on Dec. 7. Truman, which uses a six-player rotation, saw turnovers and missed foul shots also make a difference in its first loss of the season.
“If we can play a bit smarter and take care of the ball, that’s the difference between losing a heartbreaker and beating some of best teams in the city,” Truman head coach John Burke said.
Truman relied on their two stars, Dyona Davis and Aneisha Lyons to carry them. Lyons, its new primary ball handler, led the team with 19 points and five assists. Davis had 17 points.
“We just had to come out and play our game,” Davis said.
Truman succeeded in throwing Lewis off its game early, as it forced 10 turnovers and allowed just one field goal in the first quarter. The Mustangs used their zone defense to keep Lewis from getting good looks from long range.
“We were really working them off the three-point line, because that’s their strength,” Lyons said.
Truman was also off it game though, as they turned the ball over and missed easy shots as well. It led just 7-5 after one quarter.
The Mustangs got their offense going in the second quarter. Dyona Davis hit a go-ahead three-pointer midway through the period and she and Lyons led Truman on a 9-2 run to push the lead to 29-22 at halftime.
“Usually we start out slow or we play to the other team’s pace, so we had to push, push, and push, so it even things out,” Davis said.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as Lewis (3-0) retook the lead on a 9-0 run. The Patriots started hitting long-range shots, especially starts Sierra Green and Taliyah Brisco.
Truman fell behind by 11 halfway through the fourth, but Lewis began to play careless down the stretch, as it rushed shots instead of using the full shot clock.
The Mustangs tried to take advantage. Davis and Lyons continued their dominant play and cut the lead to five with less than two minutes left.
“When they’re up 11, they’re thinking about winning the game, not losing it,” Burke said. “We were playing with the freedom like we’re going to run, we’re going to press, we’re going to speed it up. And that was in our favor. They were nervous, they were playing not to lose the game.”
Truman (2-1) was unable to take full advantage, as they missed good looks and turned the ball over with a chance to cut the lead further until it was too late. They also had trouble hitting their own foul shots, as they went just 12-of-24 from the line, including two with a chance to make it a three-point game with 1:06 left.
Davis then hit a huge three-pointer with 24.8 seconds left to cut Lewis’ lead down to two. Green managed to hit both free throws to push the lead up to four, and a last desperation three-pointer by Davis went wide.
Even with in defeat, Truman proved it could play with one of PSAL’s best teams.
“We should have beat them tonight,” Lyons said. “But we’re going to get back at it again.”