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12/20/2013 | Wright State Nutter Center | Attendance: 129
Friday, December 20, 2013
FAIRBORN, Ohio – Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities”. Lipscomb coach Greg Brown has Dickens beat with “A Tale of Three Teams”.
Friday night at the Nutter Center in the Wright State Invitational the third version of the Lady Bisons dropped a tough 87-85 game with Bradley. The final score was indicative of the game with 16 ties and 10 lead changes.
“We are still a young team with this group playing together,” Brown said. “We started the season with Alex Banks and didn’t know at the time if we would get Chandler Cooper. Then we lose Alex to an injury and we get Chandler so that was a different team. And then we get Danay Fothergill and we are adjusting to that as well.
“I thought we did a much better job against Bradley of having a feel for where everyone was.
The Lady Bisons appeared to be in control of the game with a 63-55 lead on a 3-point shot by Cooper with 10:49 remaining in the game. But 16 seconds later Bradley’s Fantasia Vine sank a 3-pointer to start a 10-2 run that tied the game at 65-65 with nine minutes left to play.
Lipscomb’s eight-point lead was the biggest lead by either team in the game.
The Lady Bisons, 2-7, close out the tournament Saturday with a 1 p.m. tilt against Gardner-Webb (6-4). In the the second game Friday night, host Wright State (9-3) defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs 90-77. Wright State will battle Bradley for the championship at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
There were a number of bright spots for the Lady Bisons. Guard Maya Dillard set season and career highs for both steals with four and assists with 10.
Guard Sara Bliss tripled her previous season and career for rebounds with nine. She also tied her season and career high for 3-pointers made in a game with four. It marks her third time this season to reach that total.
Cooper also tied her career and season high for rebounds with four for the third time this season. Fothergill tied her season high for 3-pointers with three.
Forward Ashley Southern led the Lady Bisons with her seventh double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The finish was impressive as Southern had only six points and four rebounds at the half.
“That is just her,” Brown said. “She just keeps battling and finding a way. She has such a great instinct for the ball and the basket. We have to keep getting Ashley good touches.”
Also in double figures for the Lady Bisons were Cooper with 16 points, Fothergill with 15 and Bliss with 14.
“Bradley is a big, strong team,” Brown said. “I thought we played very hard.
“I thought they competed each possession. I thought we did some good stuff at the end. We did a lot of good things other than the final score.”
Bradley’s Michelle Young led all scorers with 25 points. Kelsey Budd added 19. Vine and Kelly Frings each scored 12. Frings added a double-double with a game-high 18 rebounds.
Rebounds have been a concern for the Lady Bisons all season. Bradley held a 46-35 advantage on the boards.
“We know that is not going to be our strength,” Brown said. “We understand that. But we have to do a much better job of positioning and pursuit. We are doing a better job, but we have to do a better job quicker.
“We missed some free throws we need to make. Bradley got to the free throw line too much. But I was proud of our effort.”
The Lady Bisons outshot Bradley 46.3 percent to 40.6 percent from the field and 48 percent to 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
The Lady Bisons made 13 steals to seven by Bradley. The Lady Bisons also held a 20-14 edge in assists.
“It is baby steps,” Brown said. “We have to keep growing.
“I’m frustrated. And they are frustrated. That’s good. It is a great challenge Saturday to come back.”