Saturday, January 26, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -There are 40 minutes allotted on a game clock for a college basketball game. Usually teams that play at a high level from the start to finish end up victorious.
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons had their share of positive moments against Mercer. They rallied from deficits. They fought off rallies. They played with gutsiness and passion. But, in the end, they lost 74-70 in the closing seconds Saturday at Allen Arena.
“I thought we did a lot of good stuff,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. “A lot of what we did had carried over from practice.
“Mercer is a good team. They are 6-2 for a reason. Mercer is experienced. I don’t fault our effort. It was a matter of execution at times, and you can learn and grow from that.”
Leading 68-61 with 2:20 left in the game the Lady Bisons allowed Mercer to score seven unanswered points to tie the game at 68-68 with one minute remaining.
Lipscomb guard Hannah Phillips sank a pair of free throws with 28 seconds on the clock to give the Lady Bisons a 70-68 edge. But with 16 seconds left Mercer guard Kendra Grant hit a jump shot to tie the game for the 12th time.
After a Lipscomb turnover on an in-bound pass Grant struck again for a jumper with 11 seconds for a 72-70 lead.
With one second left Lipscomb guard Presley Stastny missed a 3-point attempt. Mercer guard Precious Bridges went to the free throw line and sank a pair of shots to ice the game.
“The word we use is `sustain’,” Brown said. “That has been the tough part for us. We have played well for 20 minutes, for 30 minutes and 35 minutes. So the key now is to finish one out.
“It is a cliché’, but it really didn’t come down to one possession. It didn’t come down to a missed 3-point shot or a turnover at the end.”
Phillips scored a team-high 21 points, equaling her season high. Stastny added 15 points, connecting on five-of-six shots from 3-point range. Forward Alex Banks just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Phillips left the game early in the second half with an ankle injury. But she was quickly back on the court and finished the game.
“I can’t say enough things about Hannah,” Brown said. “She has a motor. She is the epitome of the type of player we want to have here.”
Center Sasha Robinson led the Lady Bisons with 10 boards. The Lady Bisons were out-rebounded 39-30 as Mercer center Teanna Robinson hauled in 15.
“We have seen growth with different players,” Brown said. “Everybody who had her number called came in and contributed in a great way. That is all you can ask for.”
Bridges led all scorers with a career-high 36 points. Guard Alicia Williams chipped in with 17 and Grant finished with 12.
The Lady Bisons, 2-16, 1-7 in the Atlantic Sun, are back in action Monday night at 6 when Kennesaw State visits Allen Arena. Mercer is 12-7 overall, 6-2 in the conference.
The game with Mercer was billed as “We Back Pat” Night honoring legendary former Tennessee Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt by raising funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
“We have a quick turnaround for Kennesaw,” Brown said. “Our players have to learn that no possession is more important than another. They have to continue to grow. If they can do that they will be ready for Monday.
“It is a long season left. The key is to do what we have to do to get into the tournament.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.