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Lady Bisons win third in row stopping Savannah State 78-60

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jan. 9, 2006

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Lipscomb's Lady Bisons squeezed in one final non-conference game between a heavy slate of Atlantic Sun games, but still managed to walk away with a 78-60 victory Monday night over visiting Savannah State at Allen Arena.

It was the third straight victory for the Lady Bisons, 3-8 overall. Savannah State dropped to 1-17 with the loss.

The game provided the Lady Bisons with one more chance to work on a variety of things in a game situation before finishing the season exclusively against A-Sun teams beginning with Thursday night's visit to Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

"They pressed us most of the game," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "We got to react to different defenses.

"We did a pretty good job of attacking. We didn't have bunches of turnovers together like we have had trouble with in the past.

"They were a quick team. We had a chance to work a lot on how to stop teams from penetrating."

In the first half Savannah State's full-court press and overall quickness tested the Lady Bisons. The game was close until the Lady Bisons took a 10-point lead at 27-17 with 8:07 left before intermission on a lay-up by Katie Beth Pate.

The Lady Bisons would lead the rest of the first half by as many as 13 points. They held that margin at intermission, heading into their dressing room with a 37-24 advantage.

In the second half Savannah State chipped away at the Lady Bisons double-digit leads, trimming them to six points on two occasions, once at 16:26 when a pair of free throws by Shaunte Carter made the score 39-33 and again at 14:18 when a pair of free throws by Antoinette Williams made the score 45-39.

The Lady Bisons scored nine unanswered points from 13:53 to 12:01 with the run capped by a 3-pointer by point guard Catie Woods for a 54-39 lead. From that point on the Lady Bisons maintained a double-digit lead, taking a 20-point advantage at 61-41 with 9:56 left to play.

"In the second half our lead got down to six twice," said Bennett. "We could have panicked a little bit and gotten out of control. But we did a really good job of meeting those runs."

In the final 4:19 of the game the Lady Bisons did not let Savannah State get any closer than 20 points until the 12-second mark when a lay-up by Cassidy Jenkins cut the lead to 18.. The biggest lead for the Lady Bisons was 24 points (78-54) with 1:43 left to play.

Pate recorded her second double-double in a row with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 13 minutes. She was the only Lady Bisons player to reach double figures in either category as Bennett took the opportunity to give 14 players time on the court. Freshmen Katie Rollins (21 minutes), Rachel Viehmann (17 minutes), Jillian Partin (17 minutes) and Miriam McAlister (16 minutes) all received significant playing time. "The freshmen are getting a better clue about what we are trying to do as a team and cutting out some of their mistakes," said Bennett. "They have been making a lot of progress."

Viehmann earned praise from Bennett for her continued improvement, including eight points and six rebounds against Savannah State.

"Rachel has really stepped it up since the Florida State game," said Bennett. "This was her best game. She has played a lot better the last four games in working for the ball, making strong moves to the basket and getting some good rebounds.

"She can really learn the floor. She is really fast for a 6-foot-3 post player. We are trying to get her to run the floor more."

Savannah State placed three players in double figures. Carter led with 12 points followed by Lashara Smith and Williams with 10 each. Shamice James grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.

The Lady Bisons held a 48-40 edge in rebounding. They also committed only 16 turnovers, a season-low.

One area where Bennett was disappointed was in the fouls department. Savannah State shot 28 free throws, hitting 21 for a 75 percent success rate. The Lady Bisons hit 18-of-26 free throws for a 69.2 percent rate.

"We put them on the foul line way too much, but we did some good things," said Bennett. "We have four straight road games coming up. Hopefully, we are at the point where we have the toughness and the team concept to win tough road games."