Recap: Colson, Mitchell lead Team Smith in comeback effort
DALLAS — With the game on the line, you always want your best shooters to have the ball. For Team Smith, guards Kelsey Mitchell and Sydney Colson filled that role and did so in winning fashion, leading the squad to a 95-92 victory over Team Hillmon to begin Saturday’s Athletes Unlimited Basketball doubleheader at Fair Park Coliseum.
The win allowed Team Smith to close the season’s second week with a 2-1 record, while Team Hillmon ended its slate at 1-2.
Mitchell and Colson combined to score 15 of Team Smith’s 29 points in the final quarter as the squad rallied from an eight-point deficit to secure the victory. Colson tallied eight points in the frame on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, while Colson added seven markers, including a 4-of-4 showing at the charity stripe.
Mitchell earned MVP 1 honors for her efforts, finishing with 490 leaderboard points along with her fifth Game MVP award of the season. Colson, meanwhile, followed with the MVP 2 recognition and 431 leaderboard points.
Team captain NaLyssa Smith narrowly missed a double-double with a team-high 22 points and nine rebounds, while guard Crystal Bradford chipped in 13 points and nine boards off the bench.
Forward Theresa Plaisance, the MVP 3 pick, guided Team Hillmon in a losing effort, scoring a season-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, including a 3-for-6 performance from three-point range. Team captain Naz Hillmon contributed 16 points with six rebounds, while guard Allisha Gray tallied 20 points with six assists and five rebounds.
After Team Hillmon took an 87-86 lead on a three-pointer by Plaisance with 2:57 remaining, Mitchell countered with a triple of her own on the next possession for an 89-87 edge with 2:28 left. Team Hillmon trimmed the margin to 93-92 with 31 seconds left on a pair of free throws by guard Air Hearn, but a Colson layup with 15 ticks left sealed the victory.
Smith moved into the top spot of the leaderboard with her efforts in Saturday’s opener, owning a slim 34-point advantage over guard Odyssey Sims heading into the nightcap. Mitchell, meanwhile, rose into the top four positions with 2,581 leaderboard points on the season.
Each team initiated a captain’s challenge in the contest … Team Hillmon challenged an out-of-bounds call with 5:03 remaining in the fourth quarter … The challenge was successful and Team Hillmon retained possession … Team Smith, meanwhile, had an unsuccessful challenge of a foul call against Mitchell with 31.9 seconds left in regulation.
Teams are now 7-for-15 (.467) in captain’s challenges this season.
Team Hillmon and Team Smith combined to make 14 three-pointers in Saturday’s opener, upping the league’s season total to 152 triples through 11 games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every made three-pointer this season as part of its ‘Trees for Threes’ initiative.
Team Hillmon and Team Smith teamed up to make 30 consecutive free throws until Hillmon missed the first of two free throws with 1:59 left in the fourth quarter … The teams finished the game with a 33-of-34 success rate.
Gray registered her sixth consecutive double-digit scoring output … She was 7-for-12 from the field, including a 4-of-8 showing from long range, while sinking both of her free throws.
Smith also posted her sixth straight double-digit scoring effort with the 22-point performance … However, she had her streak of five straight double-doubles come to an end after grabbing just nine caroms.
Plaisance has authored a double-digit scoring effort in 4-of-6 games this season, including the last three in a row … She also reached the 20-point plateau for the first time in her Athletes Unlimited career.
Colson ran her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring efforts to four games in a row … It also marked her 12th career double-digit output.
Mitchell extended her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring games to 17 in a row … Mitchell, who has scored in double figures in all 17 games of her Athletes Unlimited career, also upped her league-record career Game MVP total to 14 awards.
Bradford has reached double figures in scoring five times in six appearances this season.
Hillmon also earned a double-digit scoring effort for the fourth time in six games this year, including her third straight outing.
- #1 – Kelsey Mitchell (Team Smith, +90)
- #2 – Sydney Colson (Team Smith, +60)
- #3 – Theresa Plaisance (Team Hillmon, +30)
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