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Wednesday, January 13, 2010It was easily the most entertaining game of the season for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons, but coach Frank Bennett knows his players have to avoid a letdown after beating top rival Belmont 74-68 in overtime.
The Lady Bisons are in Jacksonville for a pair of games, starting Thursday night against the Jacksonville Dolphins. The Lady Bisons are 4-12 overall, 2-4 in the Atlantic Sun. Jacksonville is 3-11, 2-4 in the conference. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.
Jacksonville has won the last five meetings. The series is tied at 6-6 overall.
“We need to really play well in the conference,” said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. “We need to continue to improve.
“Hopefully, the Belmont game gives us confidence. A lot of different players made plays. We met their runs. We did a lot of good things to pull that game out, but we have to put that game behind us.”
The Lady Bisons spent a great deal of practice time during the Christmas break working on stopping the offensive runs of opponents.
“If you score a basket, and then give up a basket, you haven’t gained anything,” Bennett said. “If you get a stop and don’t get a score with it you haven’t gained anything. We stepped up when they made their runs instead of fading and then made runs of our own.
“You have to get some stops on one end and put some scores together on the other end. What I liked was it wasn’t any one person making the plays. Miaca Bowman hit a big three. Hannah Phillips made a shot under the basket. Chelsea McMeans made a 3-pointer. Jenna Bartsokas made some plays. Brittany Duerk had some offensive rebounds and scored around the basket.”
Jacksonville is led by senior guard Courtney Jackson with 10.5 points per game. Senior forward Desarae Johnson is averaging 10.2 points per game. She leads the Dolphins in rebounds with 8.1.
“Jacksonville is a very athletic team as they usually are,” Bennett said. “They have lost some starters on the perimeter.
“They will do some pressing. They mix their zone and man defenses. They have got a couple of wins in the conference the last couple of weeks. They are playing teams close.”
Bartsokas is the only Lady Bison averaging in double figures with 12.7 points per game. Duerk leads the Lady Bisons in rebounds with 6.3 per game.
Bennett likes the fact that the Lady Bisons are doing everything by committee.
“We don’t know from one night to the next which player is going to do a little more of one thing or the other,” Bennett said. “Brittany is the leader in rebounding, but it is pretty evenly distributed. We have to have our guards rebound. We don’t have somebody who is going to get 10, 12 or 15 rebounds a night.
“We are trying to get more inside scoring. We are seeing some good trends there. Hopefully, our 3-point shooting is improving. It is good that teams can’t focus on one player, but it is bad because we don’t really have a go-to player a lot of times. Jenna would be the closest we have to that.”
Bennett thinks the Lady Bisons have the potential to be a much better team as the season progresses.
"It is a matter of confidence," Bennett said. "Hopefully, we can keep putting different areas together and be a solid team.
"Doing it by committee everybody has to be focused that night to get the pieces together. If two or three aren't ready to play then you don't have it that night."
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations