Coach Frank Bennett and his Lipscomb Lady Bisons have a busy Monday ahead.
The Lady Bisons tipoff against USC Upstate in the final home game of the season at 7 p.m. at Allen Arena. It will be “Senior Night” for guard Jenna Bartsokas, guard Miaca Bowman and forward Valerie Bronson.
The game is also “Think Pink”/”Pack the House” night. Admission to the game is free but a donation of at least $5 is suggested. Proceeds will be used to benefit cancer awareness. There will be a number of prizes and special events as part of the game.
“It is a big night,” Bennett said. “Paul Nance, director of corporate sponsorships, and his marketing students committee have put a lot of work into this.
“We hope to have a great crowd. We hope to raise some money. This is campaign across the country. It is a great cause. Most families are touched by cancer. I know members of our team have been touched by it.”
The Lady Bisons, coming off a disappointing 66-52 loss to ETSU Saturday night, will face another strong challenge from Upstate.
“We played a really solid game,” Bennett said. “In the second half ETSU made 27-of-30 free throws and we made four-of-four. We really did a good job against a high scoring team.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well against ETSU either. We were 4-of-31 from 3-point range. Even on a mediocre night we are usually going to get a lot more points than that. I think they will fall for us.”
Forward Hannah Phillips scored 10 points for the Lady Bisons and just missed her first double-double of the season with nine rebounds. She also had five assists and three steals in 26 minutes.
“If she had played more minutes and we had shot the ball better she had the potential for a triple double,” Bennett said.
Center Jess Reece also had 10 points, but she also had a season and career high seven blocks. That was one short of the Lady Bisons record of eight for one game set four times in 2003 and 2004 by Katie Beth Allen, now a Lady Bisons assistant coach.
“Jess had one of the best nights for her this season,” Bennett said. “She scored 10 points. She blocked seven shots and altered some other shots. She had a pretty solid game against Latisha Belcher, one of the best all-around post players in the league.”
Upstate beat Belmont 63-53 Thursday night. Upstate is 15-11 overall, 11-6 in the conference.
The Lady Bisons are 8-18 overall, 5-12 in the A-Sun.
The last time the two teams met Upstate won 77-70 on Jan. 24.
“Chelsea McMillan, the preseason conference player of the year, is a force,” Bennett said. “She had 30 against us last time. A lot of those were late in the game. We played fairly well against them until McMillan took over.”
The Lady Bisons will be wearing their pink uniforms trimmed in purple and white. The uniforms were designed by assistant coach Billy Snell.
“I think we have some of the best looking pink uniforms,” Bennett said. “Billy did a great job of designing those.”
The Lady Bisons will close the regular season on the road with a visit to Kennesaw State Thursday and a stop in Mercer on Saturday.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.