“We asked to the players to tell us where we fell short and let them identify some of the areas,” said Bennett. “Hopefully, they will take it to heart. We are a very young team.
“Against Central Arkansas we executed our offense with patience in the last seven or eight minutes and got great shots. This time we didn’t. We have to differentiate what makes us successful and what doesn’t make us successful.”
Guard Jenna Bartsokas hit some key 3-point shots for the Lady Bisons, but they couldn't remain in control of Austin Peay, one of the top teams in the Ohio Valley Conference, at Allen Arena Tuesday night.
“It was a great opportunity and we missed it,” said Bennett.
Bartsokas led the Lady Bisons with 16 points, hitting four-of-six attempts from 3-point range.
Also in double figures for the Lady Bisons were forward Valerie Bronson with 11 and guard Chelsea Burroughs with 10.
The Lady Bisons shot 31.7 percent from the field (20-63) and 6-of-25 from 3-point range (24 percent). At the free throw line they were 6-of-17 for 35.3 percent.
“We didn’t make the plays we needed to in order to give ourselves a chance,” said Bennett. “Free throws were one area, obviously. We left a lot of points on the floor there.
“We have a lot of good 3-point shooters. We didn’t shoot the ball from the 3-point line like we are capable of doing. Take Jenna out of it and it was pretty dismal.”
The Lady Bisons came out strong against Austin Peay, leading by as many as nine points on four occasions in the first half. With 3:10 left to play before intermission Austin Peay tied the game at 20-20. With 2:29 remaining it was 23-23. Bartsokas connected on a 3-pointer with 1:50 left to give the Lady Bisons a 26-25 advantage, but they went into the dressing room trailing 27-26.
In the second half the Lady Bisons were able to get back into the lead, but their last advantage was 36-34 with 12:17 left in the game.
“I thought we were playing hard with a high tempo, but we were getting fair shots too many times instead of being a little more patient and getting a great shot,” said Bennett.
“They switched to a zone defense in the first half. We got open shots, but we weren’t hitting them. We didn’t give the post a chance to touch the ball. We really didn’t attack the zone. We shot quick shots and that gave them a chance to get back into it.”
Austin Peay guard Ashley Herring led all scorers with 23 points, with nine points from the free throw line. Austin Peay only managed to shoot 36.2 percent from the field, hitting 21-of-58 shots.
“I thought our defense was pretty good,” said Bennett. “We fouled a pretty good bit late trying to stop the clock. I think we would have kept them in the low 50s if we hadn’t done that. If we had done a little bit better job on second shots we could have held them in the 40s.”
Center Brittany Duerk led the Lady Bisons in rebounds with nine. Austin Peay held a 50-40 edge on the boards.
“Austin Peay was really physical around the basket,” said Bennett. “We didn’t do as good a job as we wanted to blocking out and getting on loose balls.”
The Lady Bisons are back in action as they head to Kentucky for the Morehead State Classic Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Writtten by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations