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Lipscomb (3-13; 0-5 A-Sun)
Jacksonville (7-8; 4-0 A-Sun)
1/16/2014 | Swisher Gymnasium- Jacksonville, Fla. | Attendance: 287
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – From the cold and damp weather of Tennessee to the sunny skies and warm temperatures of Florida, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team just wants to play ball and get a win.
Coming off two close losses at home, the Lady Bisons make the first of two trips to the “Sunshine State” on Thursday. Lipscomb will battle the Dolphins of Jacksonville at 6 p.m. inside Swisher Gym.
Jacksonville leads the all-time series with a 12-8 advantage.
The Lady Bisons begin the road swing with a 3-12 overall and an 0-4 record in the Atlantic Sun. Even though Lipscomb has yet to win a league game, the record could easily be 3-1 heading into Thursday’s contest.
Lipscomb held the lead late in each game, but eventually fell by three to ETSU, by four to Kennesaw State and by seven to Mercer to give the Purple and Gold its longest losing streak of the season at five. The other two losses were to No. 3 Tennessee and USC Upstate.
The luck of the Bisons must turn around at some point and all involved are hoping that time is now.
Unexpected contributors can step up at any given time and with an injury plagued squad, that opportunity is there for the taking amongst the young Lady Bisons.
Undermanned with only eight healthy players against Mercer on Saturday, Lipscomb got much-needed performances from Kelli Smith and Faith LeGate.
Smith nailed a career-high four 3-pointers to give her a season-high 12 points on the night, while LeGate responded with the best game of her career. She tallied nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
With sharp shooting Chandler Cooper still sidelined, the bulk of the load must fall on the shoulders of Danay Fothergill and Ashley Southern.
Fothergill is coming off a career-high 34 point effort, her second 30-point game in conference play, in a game where she handled the point guard duties and never exited the game.
Fothergill leads the team in scoring at 19.3 per game. In conference play, she has upped her game and is averaging an even better 23.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game.
Southern continues her consistent play and now has 11 double-doubles in her sophomore campaign. She is fourth in the A-Sun in scoring with a 15.4 average. Southern leads the league and is eighth nationally in rebounding, pulling down 12.1.
For the Lady Bisons to leave Jacksonville with a win, protecting the ball is key. JU forced North Florida into 28 turnovers on Saturday while holding the Ospreys to 31-percent shooting from the field. The Dolphins lead the A-Sun with 10.9 steals per game.
Offense has not been a problem for Lipscomb, ranking third in the league in scoring at 68.7. Jacksonville is sixth at 65.
One of the strengths of the Lady Bisons is their ability to shoot the long ball. Ranking sixth in 3-point percentage with 30.7 percent, the youthful squad has made 101 3s, the second most in the conference, only behind Florida Gulf Coast's 138. Jacksonville has made only 37 three’s on the year.
Jacksonville leads the league in 3-point defense, only allowing teams to shoot 25.5 percent per game.
The Dolphins are 6-8 overall, but they are unblemished with a 3-0 A-Sun record. At home, JU is outscoring its opponents by 24.7 points per game this season. Jacksonville opened up conference play with road wins at Kennesaw State and Mercer before destroying cross-town rival North Florida 74-42 in the River City Rumble.
JU is led offensively by the two-time A-Sun Newcomer of the Week Sherranda Reddick. The hometown freshman leads the team and is sixth in the conference with a 14.6 scoring average. In league play Reddick is pouring in 18.3.
Queen Alford is the only other Dolphin averaging double-figures at 13.3. Alford leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game.
Following the game with Jacksonville, the Lady Bisons travels across town to face North Florida in a 3:30 p.m. tip on Saturday.