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Lipscomb (3-9, 0-1 A-Sun)
ETSU (5-7, 1-0 A-Sun)
1/2/2014 | ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center | Attendance: 482
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A brand new season begins Thursday for the Lipscomb women’s basketball team. After battling top 10 teams and goliath like competition, the Lady Bisons can now look forward to the most important part of the season as Atlantic Sun play begins with a cross-state trip to ETSU slated for a 6 p.m. tip at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.
Lipscomb (3-8) heads into league play looking to get back on a winning track after losing a stiff test to No. 5 Tennessee on Dec. 29. Not much went right for the Purple and Gold in the hostile environment as Danay Fothergill was the only Lady Bison to finish in double-figures with 13 points. Sara Bliss found success in the first half, hitting three 3-point shots, but was held scoreless in the second half to finish the contest with nine. Lipscomb was forced into 18 turnovers and only reached the charity stripe nine times.
The good news is there are no more games against opponents like Tennessee, Kentucky or Georgia the rest of the season.
The bad news is the Lady Bisons are 1-16 all-time against the Lady Bucs of ETSU, losing 13 straight. Lipscomb won 57-52 Feb. 3, 2007 inside Allen Arena.
For Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown’s squad to find success, the A-Sun’s leading rebounder, Ashley Southern, must get back to her double-double ways after posting career-lows with eight points and five rebounds against the Lady Vols. Southern is eighth nationally with eight double-doubles this season. On the first two occasions where she failed to reach the standard, Southern bounced back to average 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds the following game. She needs that type of performance to help the Lady Bisons ring in the New Year with a win in Johnson City.
On the season Southern is scoring 15.4 per game and grabbing 11.7 boards. She is fifth in the A-Sun in scoring and first in rebounding.
Bliss has had a great season shooting the ball. She is fifth on the team in scoring with 11.8 per game. She leads the team and ranks second in the A-Sun with 26 made 3-pointers. She leads the A-Sun with 2.4 made trey's per game. She continues to climb the national rankings after making 28-of-31 free throws and now ranks 16th in the nation with a .903 FT percentage.
Fothergill’s 16.2 points a game puts her second on the team in scoring. With the ability to drain shots from long range, Fothergill is just as dynamic driving the lane and making things happen. Playing in only five games this season, she is already second on the team in free throw makes (20) and attempts (32).
Maya Dillard leads the team with 47 assists this year. She is fourth in the conference averaging 4.3 per game. Dillard combined for 19 assists against Bradley and Gardner-Webb in the Wright State Invitational just before Christmas. She is also averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.
ETSU (4-7) will be playing its fourth-straight home game Thursday. The Lady Bucs are coming off an 87-76 win over George Mason on Saturday.
In the last meeting between Lipscomb and ETSU, the Lady Bucs defended home court, scoring the first 13 points on the way to an 86-64 victory.
Senior leader Destiny Mitchell suffered a leg injury in ETSU’s first game of the season and will miss the remainder of the year.
ETSU is led by Serena Clark’s 12.7 points and 10.9 rebounds a game. Alongside Southern, Clark is the only other A-Sun player to average a double-double. She is third in the conference in rebounding and second with five double-doubles this season.
Cara Bowling is third on the team in scoring, putting up 12.6 per game. Brianna McQueen and Maria Bond chips in 11.4 and 10.5 respectively. Bowling has 45 assists this season and is third in the A-Sun, averaging 4.5 per game.
As a team ETSU ranks second in the conference, averaging 71.9 points per game. Lipscomb is third with 67.
To continue its two-game road-swing, Lipscomb will travel to USC Upstate on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.