Nov. 11, 2007
A college basketball game is 40 minutes long, but five minutes spelled the difference for the Lady Bisons.
Sunday afternoon they played a solid game against Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas in the Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., for 35 minutes. But a crucial stretch of time late in the first half and early in the second half spelled the difference in the 87-60 loss.
"Arkansas was tall, strong and athletic," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "We only scored 39 points against them last year. I really feel like Arkansas is better this season.
"I thought we competed well. I was proud of our team."
The Lady Bisons jumped out to an 8-2 lead. But Arkansas went on a 17-2 lead to pull ahead 19-10. The Lady Bisons trimmed the Arkansas lead to seven points. But Arkansas responded to extend their lead to 19 points once again with six minutes left before intermission.
At the half Arkansas led 47-24.
Arkansas out scored the Lady Bisons by only four points in the second half, holding a 40-36 advantage.
"With 2:18 to go in the first half we were down 12 and they had an 11-0 run," Bennett said. "Then they started the second half with an 8-0 run.
"The other 35-plus meetings we competed pretty good. It was an eight-point difference the rest of the game, but that streak took away our chances."
"Bartsokas had a real good second half," Bennett said. "She played pretty solid overall. Valerie Bronson came in late and scored eight points in seven minutes, hitting six-of-eight free throws."
The Lady Bisons shot 35.2 percent from the field for the game. They were 9-of-32 for 28.1 percent in the first half. But they came back to hit 10-of-22 for 45.5 percent in the second half.
Five Arkansas players finished in double figures in scoring. Forward Ayana Brereton led with a game-high 22 points. Sarah Pfeifer tossed in 16, Lauren Ervin added 13 and Charity Ford and Brittney Richardson each scored 10.
Arkansas was 48.3 percent from the field, hitting a sizzling 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from 3-point range.
"Their 10-of-14 in 3-point shots surprised me and I think it surprised their coach, Tom Collen," Bennett said. "Shooting more than 70 percent from behind the 3-point line is tough to do if you are not being guarded."
Arkansas held a 42-30 advantage on the board with Ervin leading with nine. Freshman forward Cree Nix led the Lady Bisons in rebounding with five. She tied for the lead with Miriam McAlister against Tennessee-Martin.
"We got out-rebounded, but in the second half we were only out-rebounded by one," Bennett said. "We had a pretty strong second half. We weren't bad in the first half except for the last part of it.
`If we had played as well at UT-Martin as we did against Arkansas we would have had a great chance of winning it," Bennett said. "We had good intensity and a good tempo."
The Lady Bisons have opened the season with an 0-2 record on the road. They are back at Allen Arena Tuesday night against Fisk at 7 and Bowling Green State Thursday at 7.