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Saturday, February 02, 2008
Feb. 2, 2008
The Lady Bisons were thinking tall.
Coach Frank Bennett used the post position to an offensive advantage with Katie Rollins scoring a game-high 16 and Kaleigh Gossman added 10 in a 65-56 win over Stetson Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena in Atlantic Sun competition.
"I thought it was a very good game for us," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "We are improving, though we are not always super smooth.
"Our pre-conference schedule had so many road games and so many top teams it got to the point where we battling ourselves because of our doubt and disappointment."
The Lady Bisons opened the game with a lay-up by Rollins on the first possession.
The two teams fought for control of the game, taking a 12-11 lead on a lay-up by Sharnesha Smith at 14:20.
Stetson would not give up the lead until the 8:35 mark when senior point guard Catie Woods connected on a 3-pointer to give the Lady Bisons 20-18 lead, one they would never give up.
Rollins followed with a 3-pointer on the next possession to put the Lady Bisons ahead 23-18.
"We doing a better job of getting the ball to our post players," Bennett said. "We are shooing the ball O.K. Defensively, we are a little more solid, though we gave up a lot of second shots."
The Lady Bisons extended their lead to 10 points with 1:30 left in the first half as junior forward Rachel Davis, who entered the game with the biggest free throw percentage in the A-Sun, sank them both.
At intermission the Lady Bisons again were up by 1o point s, 33-23, as junior forward Jilian Partin hit back-to-back free throws.
The Lady Bisons started out quickly in the second half twice extending their lead to 14 points. The last time they held that advantage was at 16:42 when Rollins hit a pair of free throws,
A little before the midway point of the second half Stetson made a move. With 8:30 left to play the Lady Bisons lead was trimmed to 50-45 as Vlendy Roldan scored on a jump shot.
The Lady Bisons refused to allow Stetson back into the game. But their biggest scare came with 1:14 left to play when Ashli Jackson connected on a 3-pointer.
A 5-0 run in the final 31 seconds sealed the win for the Lady Bisons.
"In the conference you have to battle every game," Bennett said. "You have to make the plays to finish a game off. You have to make the defensive stops down the stretch and hit your free throws."
"We have seen a little hope in conference games. We have had some success and that has been a factor for us."
Also in double figures for the Lady Bisons was Partin with 15 points. Freshman forward Cree Nix finished with nine points.
"We almost had four players in double figures and that was really big," Bennett said. "They guarded our perimeter really well and we didn't get a lot of good looks.
"We did a nice job of getting the ball to the open person. We passed the ball better. We found people under the basket for 3-point plays with the field goal and the add one at the free throw line."
The free throw line was crucial for the Lady Bisons who hit 24-of-28 attempts compared to four-of-seven for Stetson.
"The big thing was getting to the free throw line and hitting 86 percent," Bennett said.
Partin, Gossman and Rollins each grabbed six rebounds.
Kellie Olson led Stetson with 14 points. Sharnesha Smith tossed in 11 points.
Olson hauled in a game-high eight rebounds. Stetson held a 44-28 edge on the boards.
The Lady Bisons are 4-4 in the conference, 6-16 overall. Stetson slipped to 4-17, 2-6 in the A-Sun.
Monday night the Lady Bisons will be in Fort Myers, Fla., at 7 to face Florida Gulf Coast.
"If we could add a win at Gulf Coast that would put us in pretty good shape in the conference," Bennett said. "There are a lot of teams that have been a 3-4 and 4-3.
"Gulf Coast is hard to guard. Everyone on the team can shoot a 3. The run a motion where you have to really play all 30 seconds they have the ball or someone on their team is going to get a good look for a shot. It is going to be a challenge for us."
Members of the first Lady Bisons basketball team since 1931, formed for the 1977-78 season, were special guests for the doubleheader.