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Friday, November 06, 2009
The Lipscomb University Lady Bisons (0-0, 0-0 A-Sun) host NCAA Division II Harding (0-0, 0-0 Gulf South) in their first of two exhibitions before the start of the 2009-10 season. Game time is 1:00 p.m. (CT) in Allen Arena.
Lipscomb returns 4 starters and 11 of their 14 letterwinners from last year’s team that went 6-24. The Lady Bisons were 5-10 in Allen Arena last year.
Lipscomb is lead by junior guard Jenna Bartsokas. She averaged 11.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists last year. Junior Cree Nix will anchor the post for the Lady Bisons against Harding. She grabbed 7.5 rebounds per game last year and scored 7.9 points per game.
Harding returns five players from its squad that went 20-10 last year and finished fifth in the Gulf South Conference West Division. Harding is led by senior Stacey Owens who averaged 16.1 points per game last year. Owens was named to the preseason All-Gulf South Conference team.
Last year Lipscomb defeated Harding 84-66 in their second exhibition of the season. Five Lipscomb players scored in double figures led by Bartsokas with 15. She also added six steals and four rebounds. Owens posted team highs with 21 points and 8 rebounds for Harding.
The last time Harding defeated Lipscomb was in an exhibition in Allen Arena on Nov. 9, 2006. Harding won 69-62 with a strong shooting game from the 3-point line.
Run and Gun
Returning just 37.4 points of offense from last year’s team, Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett would like to see his team play a faster and more up tempo game this year. Bennett is challenging his team to shot in the first 10 seconds of a possession. But if there is not a great shot, he has instructed his team to be patient and work for a quality shot.
Lipscomb was picked in the preseason coaches poll to finish 10th in the Atlantic Sun. The Lady Bisons were picked to finish 11th in the A-Sun in the preseason media poll.
The Lady Bisons lost three players to graduation last year. Jilian Partin started all 30 games last year scoring 10.2 points per. She also grabbed 6.3 boards per contest.
Lipscomb also lost posts Katie Rollins and Miriam McAlister. Rollins averaged 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She played in 28 contests, starting nine. McAlister saw limited action due to injuries. She averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17 games.
Lipscomb adds four freshman to this year’s squad. Wings Hannah Phillips and Morgan Faulkner along with posts Chelsea McMeans and Kaitie Fritts are expected to all play critical roles for the Lady Bisons this year.
Phillips is a 5-11 wing from Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn. She was named to the All-Region and All-District teams her senior year and was named to the 2009 TSSAA TACA All-Star Team.
Faulkner is a 5-9 wing out of Madison Academic Magnet in Jackson, Tenn. She was an All-State selection her freshman, sophomore, and senior years. She set her school’s records for points scored (2,440), rebounds (835), and blocks (260).
McMeans is a 6-2 post from LaVernia High School in LaVernia, Texas. She was a unanimous selection as district Defensive Player of the Year her senior year. She was also named to the TABC All-Region Team and was an All-State All-Academic student-athlete.
Kaitie Fritts is a 6-1 post from Central Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, Ky. She was an All-State honorable mention and was named the 5th Region Player of the Year.
The Lady Bisons are coached by Frank Bennett. He is in his 30th year as the head coach at Lipscomb. Bennett has amassed a record of 563-369 (.604) in his tenure. Bennett was the 2003 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year. He was also the 1996 and 1999 WBCA NAIA Coach of the Year. Bennett was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2002. He led the Lipscomb to the 2004 Atlantic Sun title and Lipscomb’s first NCAA National Tournament appearance.