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Murray State (5-2)
11/30/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 327
Saturday, November 30, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After a slow start, the Lipscomb Lady Bisons fought their way back only to come up short in the end.
The Murray State Lady racers escaped Allen Arena with an 86-79 win Saturday night.
Chandler Cooper hit a jumper to open the scoring for Lipscomb. After a Lady Racers bucket, Sara Bliss drained a 3-pointer to extend the Lady Bisons lead to 5-2. It would be the biggest Lipscomb lead of the night.
After a couple made free throws, Murray State would hit three-straight 3-pointers and explode to a 16 point lead with just over three minutes to play in the first half at 45-29. From there, Lipscomb tightened its defense and five different players scored to cut its deficit to eight at the half as Murray State led 47-39.
Bliss and Cooper led Lipscomb in scoring in the first period with 11 and 10 respectively. Ashley Southern collected had her fifth double-double by halftime as she entered the break with eight points and eight boards.
Keiona Kirby paced the Lady Racers with 18 points in the opening stanza.
Whatever Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said at half time must have worked because the Bisons found a rhythm while feeding Southern in the post. She would score the first six points of the half and Lipscomb outscored Murray State 19-10 in the first eight minutes to take its first lead at 58-57 since 2:08 in the first half.
Southern finished with 12 points in the half to give her 20 on the night. She also added 15 boards for her fifth double-double in her first six career games.
With the success the Lady Bisons found in the paint, they could not sustain their lead as Nikia Edom hit from beyond the arc for the Racers just 27 seconds later.
“Sustain is a key word. It is a word we use when we face adversity and tonight we did not sustain,” Brown said. “We didn’t make key plays when we needed to and they (Murray State) were much more aggressive towards the basket late in the second half. “
Lipscomb had its opportunities down the stretch but could never make the clutch shot or grab the clutch rebound even though the Lady Bisons won the rebounding margin 53-47. In the end Murray State left Nashville with its third-straight win.
“We have to learn how important ever single possession is,” Brown said. “It sure didn’t feel like we out-rebounded them because they made some key ones at the end."
One highlight of the game was Lipscomb went 22-24 from the charity stripe to shoot 92 percent, its highest percentage of the season.
After a 20-point effort in her last game, Bliss led the team in scoring once again with a career-high 22. She was 6-of-18 from the field and hit all six of her free throws. Cooper finished with a career-highs across the board with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Faith LeGate snagged a career-high 10 boards to go with her six points.
Kirby had a career-high 29-point effort on 13-of-18 shooting to lead the Racers. Jessica Winfrey recorded a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Four other Lady Racers would hit the double-digit mark as Murray State shot 37 percent from the field for the game.
The loss dropped the Bisons to 1-5 on the year, but they get a couple weeks off to make some improvements.
“We have to be more aware as a team and as a staff to know where everyone is,” Brown said. “Lack of talking, lack of awareness and lack of communication are three areas we have to improve on. Those three’s we gave up in transition are unacceptable. It is a great time for us to have a break.”