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Florida Gulf Coast (14-6, 8-0 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (3-16, 0-8 A-Sun)
1/30/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 236
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After playing 10 of its last 12 contests on the road, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team returns to Allen Arena Thursday night when the Atlantic Sun’s top team in Florida Gulf Coast invades Music City for a 6 p.m. matchup.
The Lady Bisons and the Eagles have played 11 times in the series history with FGCU winning every contest by double-digits.
The Lady Bisons (3-15 overall, 0-7 in the A-Sun) are coming off a 72-65 loss at snowy Northern Kentucky last Saturday.
It was a game in which Lipscomb fell behind early and as much as 16 in the second half, before fighting its way back to within three on multiple occasions. Unfortunately the 16-point deficit proved too much to overcome.
The Lady Bisons did get Chandler Cooper back after missing over a month with a foot injury. After a slow start in the first half, Cooper closed strong and finished with a game-high 19 points and a career-high six rebounds.
Lipscomb is still searching for its first home win of the season. Although there have not been many opportunities for the Lady Bisons (only five) they are hoping the streak ends Thursday.
For the Purple and Gold to pull an upset it must be able to score against the A-Sun’s top defense. FGCU is allowing a league low 50.6 points per game in A-Sun action. The Eagles defense has been especially stingy of late, holding every league opponent to 58 points or less.
But scoring has not been a problem for Lipscomb this season, as it ranks second in the league averaging 70 points per game in conference play. The Lady Bisons have four games this season of 80-plus points.
Prior to this season, Lipscomb only had four 80 point games in the last five seasons combined.
Danay Fothergill has been a key contributor when it comes to scoring for the Lady Bisons. She has three 30-point games this season. She was averaging 31 per game in her last three contests leading up to NKU.
She finished with 17 against the Norse.
Fothergill does lead the team in scoring at 20.8. In league play though, Fothergill is even better at 24.1. She has also hit 51-of-63 shots from the charity stripe in those seven games.
Both teams are pretty equal when it comes to shooting the ball, ranking eighth and ninth in A-Sun games in field goal percentage. FGCU makes 38.2 percent of its shots. Lipscomb is just behind at 38 percent.
Lipscomb and FGCU are the top two 3-point shooting teams in the league. The Eagles have made 175 long balls while connecting on 32.7 percent of their attempts. Lipscomb has drained 122 from beyond the arc on 30.7 percent shooting.
Lipscomb’s Ashley Southern is coming off of her fifth-straight double-double at NKU to give her 14 on the year.
She is the A-Sun’s fourth best scorer at 15.7. But she leads the league and stands ninth in the nation in rebounding, pulling down 12.1 per contest.
Southern is averaging 16 boards per game at Allen Arena.
FGCU is last in the conference when it comes to cleaning up the glass. It pulls down only 34.5 per game while allowing opponents to grab 40.8. The Eagles’minus-6.3 rebounding margin is ninth in the league.
FGCU (13-6 overall, 7-0 in the A-Sun) has three double-figure scorers on the roster. Preseason all-conference selection Sarah Hansen leads the team with a 13.4 scoring and 6.8 rebounding average.
Whitney Knight is just behind Hansen at 13 points per game. Stephanie Haas is contributing 12.1.
In conference play FGCU is getting some production from Kaneisha Atwater. Averaging only 8.1 per game on the season, she has upped her play in A-Sun action, pouring in 10 per contest.
The Lady Bisons will stay in Nashville through the weekend when Stetson visits Allen Arena on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Thursday’s game is set to air on ESPN3 and live stats will be provided. Follow the links with the story or visit Lipscombsports.com for more information.