Jan. 7, 2006
As Clint Eastwood once said in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales sometimes you have to get "plum mad dog mean" if you are going to win the fight ahead.
That's exactly what Lipscomb Lady Bisons point guard Catie Woods did in the closing seconds of Saturday afternoon's Atlantic Sun game with Gardner-Webb. Woods, the Lady Bisons smallest player, drove into traffic in the lane and picked up a foul as bodies collided against bodies.
Woods went to the line with one second on the clock and the game knotted at 51-51. She made the first shot, but missed the second. It didn't matter because she only needed one as the time remaining did not give Gardner-Webb a chance to make any sort of final play.
"Catie took the charge," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "
The Lady Bisons prevailed 52-51 at Allen Arena.
"We show a level of toughness," said Bennett. "In the second half we were down five points pretty late. We hung in there. We got some stops. We got some rebounds. We had a couple of possessions with good execution. It was just hard to score in this game."
This one was close from the start with Gardner-Webb holding the biggest lead of the game at seven points (35-28) with 13:23 left in the game. The Lady Bisons held the halftime lead at 28-27, but started out slow in the first 6 ½ minutes of the second half as Gardner-Webb went on an 8-0 run capped by a two-pointer from Gardner-Webb's Candyse Kelly.
"That is typical of how we have been early in the season." said Bennett. "We didn't have a good team focus. We will get into sort of a funk in long stretches."
The Lady Bisons refused to give up. Three pointers by Woods and Jillian Partin and a lay-up by Miriam McAlister moved the Lady Bisons into the lead at 39-37.
Kelly would strike again for Gardner-Webb with a 3-pointer at 6:58 to tie the game at 41-41 and again at 5:29 with another 3-pointer to help her team take a 47-45 lead.
Gardner-Webb moved out to a 51-46 lead on a pair of free throws by forward Shamek Smith with 3:33 left to play.
But the Lady Bisons refused to lose with Katie Beth Pate putting in a lay-up at 2:22 to cut the lead to 51-48. Pate stole the ball on the next Gardner-Webb possession at 1:59.Freshman forward Miriam McAlister was fouled while going for the rebound of her own missed lay-up. She hit both of her free throws to cut the Gardner-Webb advantage to 51-50.
Pate grabbed a rebound on Gardner-Webb's end of the floor and was fouled. She went to the line with 1:25 left on the clock, missing her first free throw and making her second to tie the game.
Gardner-Webb held the ball from 1:24 to the eight second mark, but could not get the winning back despite two missed lay-ups and one field goal set up by three offensive rebounds to set the stage for Woods heroics.
"We held them for that time almost without a shot," said Bennett. "We gave up too many second shots during that stretch. To play defense that long and then have Catie Woods take the charge were examples of hanging in and finding a way to win when things aren't going your way.
"Our conference is going to be a battle every game. It is balanced conference. It's good to pick up any win you can."
Another thing not going the Lady Bisons way was the timeout situation. Bennett had one left in the final minutes of the second half.
"On our last time out I told them I was just about out, and that they were going to have to do it on the floor," said Bennett. "They had to do it themselves. Maybe that's what got them going."
Pate posted her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, both game highs. She also had double-double against Kennesaw State in the first A-Sun game of the season on Dec. 1. Pate also blocked four shots.
"Pate and Woods are very much quality players in key positions," said Bennett. "Katie Beth anchors our defense so much and gets so many defensive rebounds. Catie Woods takes care of the ball. They give us more depth at a couple of key positions."
McAlister added eight points and eight rebounds. Kaleigh Gossman finished with nine points and Woods added eight, including a two-of-two performance from the free throw line.
Gardner-Webb was led by Sequenta Blackmon's 10 points.
After starting out the season with eight straight losses, the Lady Bisons have won back-to-back Atlantic Sun games to even their conference record at 2-2. Their overall record is 2-8. Gardner-Webb slipped to 3-9 overall, 2-3 in the conference.
The Lady Bisons close out their three-game home stand Monday night at 7 in a non-conference game with Savannah State at Allen Arena.
"We have to put this one behind us and focus again on the next game," said Bennett.