July 11, 2007
No one can accuse the Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team of trying to take the easy way out for the 2007-2008 season.
Trips to Southeastern Conference foes Arkansas and Vanderbilt are on the non-conference schedule along with visits from Bowling Green State, which knocked Vanderbilt out of the NCAA Tournament last season, Evansville and Tennessee State.
The Lady Bisons are also headed to Honolulu, Hawaii Thanksgiving week to play in the University of Hawaii's tournament scheduled for Nov. 23-25. Possible opponents are Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, Kentucky, Hartford and Alabama-Birmingham.
"The only game we know about for sure is that we open with the University of Hawaii,' Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett said. "The trip to Hawaii is a great team bonding experience. We have to book it two years in advance. We don't know what kind of competition we are getting into until we are already in the tournament. This is a very strong field."
Also planned is a trip to Manhattan, Kans., to play in Kansas State's Tournament from Nov. 30-Dec.1. Also in the field are Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Texas-El Paso.
"The things worked out this may be the toughest schedule we have ever played," Bennett said. "It's nice to have Vanderbilt and Tennessee State here in town. Even though they are away games, they are local."
The Lady Bisons open the season with exhibition games at Allen Arena against Harding Nov. 3 and Alabama-Huntsville Nov. 5.
The regular season begins on the road Nov. 9 at the Tennessee-Martin in Martin, Tenn., followed by Arkansas Nov. 11 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The regular season home opener in Allen Arena is Nov. `13 against Fisk University. Bowling Green State makes its first visit to campus Nov. 15.
Visits from Murray State, Dec. 15, and Evansville, Jan. 24, complete the non-conference schedule at Allen Arena.
The Lady Bisons travel to Birmingham, Ala., Dec. 4 to face Samford. They take short trips to Tennessee State (Dec. 20) and Vanderbilt (Dec. 22) to close out their non-conference road schedule.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is divided into divisions this season. The Lady Bisons will play teams in their division twice and teams in the other division once.
The Lady Bisons open the A-Sun portion of the schedule on the road with stops at Gardner-Webb Jan. 3 and Campbell Jan. 7.
Three straight A-Sun road games at home are next with Belmont visiting Jan. 12 followed by ETSU Jan. 19 and USC Upstate Jan. 21.
The Lady Bisons then play the six teams in the other conference starting with visits to Kennesaw State (Jan. 26) and Mercer (Jan. 28) and Florida Gulf Coast Feb. 4 in Fort Myers, Fla. The Lady Bisons will play the other three teams in the opposite division at Allen Arena starting with Stetson Feb. 2. Jacksonville visits Feb. 9 and North Florida will be on campus Feb. 11.
The final five games of the season are against teams in the Lady Bisons division. The Lady Bisons are on the road at ETSU Feb. 16 and USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. on Feb. 18. They return to Nashville for a rematch at Belmont in the "Battle of the Boulevard".
The Lady Bisons close out the schedule with a pair of home games. Gardner-Webb visits Allen Arena Feb. 28 and Campbell comes to town March 1.
"The conference is going to be very competitive as usual," Bennett said. "Belmont was strong last season. ETSU has a lot of very athletic players returning. Jacksonville is on the rise. And then we have the new teams in Florida Gulf Coast and USC Upstate."
The Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament will be held March 5-8 at Allen Arena.