That is what the Lipscomb Lady Bisons found out Saturday night in a 69-66 loss to cross town opponent Tennessee State from the Ohio Valley Conference. The loss ended a two-game win string for the Lady Bisons who slipped to 2-3. Tennessee State evened its record at 3-3.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett said. “I felt like we didn’t play as hard as we could have. “We didn’t execute very well. We didn’t communicate. We didn’t do a very good job of helping. You can’t let a team shoot 59.3 percent from the field (first half) and get so many easy shots.”
Tennessee State shot 50 percent from the field for the game. The Lady Bisons shot 37.3 percent from the field.
The Lady Bisons trailed 40-38 at the half as guard Jenna Bartsokas connected on a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
“We were tentative in attacking the press in the first half,” Bennett said. “I don’t know why.”
Tennessee State outscored the Lady Bisons 29-28 in the second half.
In the second half the Lady Bisons twice tied the game, the first time at 40-40 on a jumper by Bartoskas with 18:15 left to play.
With 2:09 left the Lady Bisons tied the game again at 61-61 on a free throw by guard Anna Bowers.
The Lady Bisons trailed by as many as seven points on several occasions in the second half, but always were able to make a comeback. However, they never were able to lead in the second half.
With 21 seconds left forward Leah McAlister connected on a 3-pointer after Bowers and Bartsokas both missed attempts on the same possession. McAlister’s shot pulled the Lady Bisons within one at 65-64.
Tennessee State extended the lead to three at 67-64 on a pair of free throws by Kesi Hess with 17 seconds on the clock.
Lipscomb forward Valerie Bronson pulled her team within one at 67-66 on a layup.
Two more free throws by Hess again gave Tennessee State a three-point lead, 69-66. McAlister missed a 3-point attempt with four seconds left to seal the Lady Bisons fate.
Bartsokas scored a game-high 22 points. McAlister finished with 13 points, 10 in the first half. She hit three 3-pointers to lead the team. McAlister also led the Lady Bisons in rebounding with seven.
“Leah played really well,” Bennett said. “She scored some threes and she rebounded well.”
Three Tennessee State players finished in double figures in scoring. Center Destiny Gaston led with 17 points. Hess added 16.
Forward Simone Hopes had a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Bennett was concerned about rebounding but each team had 33 boards.
“We still have to rebound better,” Bennett said.
The Lady Bisons are on the road Monday night at Central Arkansas.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.