Monday afternoon at 4 the Lady Bisons, 5-6, 2-0 in the A-Sun; will face Stetson, 5-6, 1-1 in the conference, in DeLand, Fla., at the Edmunds Center. Stetson lost 92-54 to Florida State in its last outing. The Lady Bisons fell 91-52 at Miami New Year’s Day.
“At this point we return to A-Sun play for the rest of the way out,” Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett said. “We want to give our best effort to be the best we can be each game and practice.”
The Lady Bisons two A-Sun wins have been at home. Bennett expects a challenge with road games at Stetson and then at Florida Gulf Coast.
“Playing on the road is a challenge, but we have some confidence from our win at Austin Peay earlier in the season,” Bennett said. “It's good to have the Miami game under our belt. The first game after Christmas after a lengthy layoff has traditionally been a tough game for us to play well.”
The Lady Bisons are led in scoring by guards Jenna Bartsokas, fifth in the A-Sun overall with a 14.4 points per game average; and Anna Bowers, ranked sixth in the conference with 14.3 points per game.
Bennett expects Stetson to be an athletic team with good overall size. Victoria McGowan, a transfer point guard, leads the team with 13.5 points per game. Center Natasha Graboski, 6-3, is a double threat as both a scorer and rebounder.
“They will probably go 6-foot-3, 6-0, 5-11 up front,” Bennett said. “McGowan, who is very quick, really pushes the ball and is their leading scorer. Our transition defense and defensive rebounding will be big keys for us.
“Grabowski has had some big scoring and rebounding games. We want to push the ball ourselves, play with good tempo and make good decisions.”
The Lady Bisons have rebounded mentally from the loss to Miami.
“We had really good focus Sunday at practice,” Bennett said. “I think the team is excited about getting back into A-Sun play.
“They seemed to bounce back from a very physical and fast paced Miami game. We are playing five games in 10 days to start the year off so we have to quickly put each game behind us and focus on the next.”
One of the biggest concerns for the Lady Bisons is a lack of personnel.
Leah McAlister was injured in the first half of the Miami game and will not play against Stetson.
“We are really thin at guard with Haley Nelson still out with a foot injury and Morgan Faulkner not quite back from ankle surgery,” Bennett said. “We are hoping for her perhaps next weekend or the first of next week after she's cleared by the doctor.
“Katie Mullins has also been out most of the past month and will be out for at least two more weeks. We need everyone to step up and do a little more.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.