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11/14/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. - Allen Arena | Attendance: 593
Thursday, November 14, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bison basketball team didn’t beat Belmont, but got a big victory that will impact the season.
Chandler Cooper, who transferred from the University of Florida, was granted a transfer waiver by the NCAA Thursday morning making her eligible immediately to compete for the Lady Bisons.
Coach Greg Brown started Cooper, who finished with 10 points including 2-of-5 attempts from 3-point range.
“It was good to hear her name called,” Brown said. “You just want your team to be together.
“It is good for the team. The type of player she is will make everyone else better. But it is good for her personally.”
Cooper had been sidelined with an injury at Florida after three games as a freshman. She admits that being back on the court in a game situation was fun, but challenging.
“It is jumping into a new situation, especially with Alex Banks out,” Cooper said. “That changed our whole dynamic.
“We are a young team as far as experience. My teammates did a really good job of making me feel comfortable and ready to play. They helped me calm my nerves.”
The Lady Bisons lost the women’s version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” to the Bruins 68-52. Despite playing the third game in five days the Lady Bisons stayed in the game physically.
Brown, however, sensed some of his players were dealing with some mental fatigue.
“I never saw any signs of physical fatigue,” Brown said. “But we had some mental breakdowns.”
Belmont led 32-20 at the end of the first half. In the second half the Purple and Gold trimmed Belmont’s lead to seven points, 43-36, with11:31 to play on a jumper by Maya Dillard. Belmont then went on a nine-to-one run and led by double figures the rest of the way.
Ashley Southern, with a team-high 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, led the way for the Lady Bisons. It was her third double-double in as many games. Faith LeGate chipped in 10 points off of the bench.
Banks is sidelined for the Lady Bisons with an injury. Cooper has been added to the starting lineup. Both of those situations have forced adjustments in player assignments. It is the type of situation that can pose problems for a veteran team. With so many young players on the Lady Bisons roster it makes it even more difficult to find consistency.
“The main thing is getting used to playing together,” Brown said. “It is one thing to play together in practice. But in a game situation we are still adjusting to playing without Alex. That is a different role for everyone.”
The Lady Bisons held a slight advantage on the boards, 39-37. But Belmont shot 42.6 percent from the field while Lipscomb was hitting at a 32.2 percent clip.
“We just have to make shots,” Brown said. “They are good shooters. We are doing a decent job getting layups, but we can’t afford to miss those.
“That will come. We will be alright.”
The Bruins, 2-1, were led by Jordyn Luffman with a game-high 14 points. She also had a team-high nine rebounds.
Also in double figures in scoring for Belmont were Blair Bryce with 13 points, Adrienne Tarrence with 12 and Tori Vaught with 10.
Brown wants to make sure that his players, especially, the younger ones don’t get discouraged with the way the season has started.
“I don’t know if they know how to see the big picture,” Brown said. “You want to make sure with the younger players that you focus on the big picture.
“We have played three veteran teams. Forget the challenge side of it, but a veteran is worth six or eight points. I want them frustrated at not winning, but their effort is good and their intensity is good. In the long run that is going to pay off.”
The Lady Bisons, 0-3, get some time to slow down and work before returning to the court Nov. 21 at Kentucky.
“We will come back and practice Friday,” Brown said. “We will go short, but we will go hard.
“We will watch film. We have a great speaker coming to talk to them after practice. We will take Saturday off and come back in Sunday,Monday and Tuesday before leaving for Kentucky.”