For the last two seasons the Lady Bucs have won the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship at Allen Arena. ETSU has lost only one time to the Lady Bisons in 11games, a 57-52 defeat Feb. 3, 2007.
Thursday night at 5:15 the Lady Bisons will welcome ETSU to campus. The Lady Bisons, 4-14, 2-6, have lost their last two games. ETSU, 8-7, 6-1 in the A-Sun, have won their last four games.
“I told our team that after winning the championship the last two years and dancing on the court that they kind of consider this their home court,” said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. “That is a challenge for us to show them that this is our home court.”
ETSU offers a number of challenges, including the 12th highest points production per game in the nation with 78.9 points.
“They probably have the top five or six players in the conference on one team as far as athletic ability and overall talent,” Bennett said. “They have a lot of overall size with four players 6-foot-2 or taller and a lot of shooters."
Two of the leaders for ETSU are senior forwards TaRonda Wiles, averaging 19.7 points per game, tops in the A-Sun; and Siarre Evans, averaging 17.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
“Wiles and Evans are their two best players,” Bennett said. “Wiles is athletic. She can go to the basket and get the jumper as well as being able to shoot the three.
“Evans has played the point in the past some. If you drop your hands, she can shoot the three pretty deep. She can also post some. She has a variety of skills.”
The biggest emphasis for the Lady Bisons will be to take care of the basketball.
“The key for us is to keep them out of transition,” Bennett said. “A lot of that translates to taking care of the ball first. They will do some trapping, both full court and in the half court, to try to force some turnovers.
“We have to get our guards back, establish a tandem and communicate until we get all five players into position. We also have to rebound. We have to hold them to one shot and get on the boards strong.”
Bennett has stressed to his team to put the trip to Jacksonville behind them, emphazing the need to look ahead to the rest of the season.
“We have worked hard on rebounding in practice,” Bennett said. “We have been physical in blocking out.
“We have worked hard on advantage transition drills where the offensive team has the advantage. You have to really scramble on defense and get back and fight off that advantage to get your team established.”
Junior guard Jenna Bartsokas continues to lead the Lady Bisons in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game. Sophomore center Brittany Duerk averaged 5.8 rebounds per game.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations