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Lady Bisons open regular season with visit from SEC foe Arkansas

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 18, 2006

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team will spend most of November in the friendly confines of Allen Arena.

After exhibition home games with Harding University (Nov. 9) and Alabama-Huntsville (Nov. 10), the Lady Bisons open the 2006-2007 season with a visit from Arkansas from the Southeastern Conference Nov. 17.

"Arkansas is a great tip-off for the season," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "Susie Gardner, their coach, is from Mount Juliet. They wanted to play close to her home. We will play there next season. We have had Ole Miss here from the SEC and Florida State from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It is great to have attractive games like that."

After a Sunday night visit to Evansville Nov. 19, the Lady Bisons return home to face Fisk (Nov. 20). Another Nashville foe, Tennessee State, makes the short trip to Allen Arena Nov. 27.

The Lady Bisons also open the Atlantic Sun portion of the season at home for the first time since joining the conference. Jacksonville visits Nov. 30 and North Florida comes to town Dec. 2. Both games are part of double-headers with the Bisons playing after the Lady Bisons.

"For the first time since we have gone Division I we have December home games," said Bennett. "We have always started on the road for the first A-Sun games."

Two tournaments are on the schedule this season. The Lady Bisons travel to Memphis Thanksgiving weekend for the University of Memphis Tournament. The Lady Bisons have not been told their first round opponent, but rounding out the field are Austin Peay and Central Arkansas.

On Dec. 20 and 21 the Lady Bisons will make their first appearance in the Vanderbilt Tournament in Nashville. The Lady Bisons will play host Vanderbilt in the first round. It will mark the first time the two teams have faced each other since they met in the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Tournament at Tennessee-Chattanooga to cap the 2004-2005 season. The Lady Bisons fell 76-45 in their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance..

Rounding out the tournament field are Indiana State and Longwood.

"That tournament will have a lot of local interest," said Bennett. "Vanderbilt and Indiana State are very outstanding teams. Longwood is making the transition to Division I."

The remaining non-conference games for the Lady Bisons are at Murray State Dec. 4 and against LaSalle at Allen Arena Jan. 2.

"LaSalle is playing Vanderbilt and they wanted an extra game here," said Bennett. "They are Philadelphia team. I think they are going to be pretty strong."

"We were able to keep all of our non-conference games within three hours of Nashville," Bennett said. "I think that is really good for our fans. Last year we went to Kent State, Ball State for a tournament, Florida State and Wake Forest. We traveled ourselves to death."

The first conference road games are Jan. 4 at East Tennessee State and Jan. 6 at Kennesaw State.

The Lady Bisons then play three straight A-Sun games at home with visits from Mercer (Jan. 11), Stetson (Jan. 13) and Belmont (Jan. 20).

After trips to Campbell Jan. 25 and Gardner-Webb Jan. 27, the Lady Bisons return home to play Kennesaw State Feb. 1 and East Tennessee State Feb. 3.

Five of the last seven regular season games are on the road with Stetson (Feb. 8), Mercer (Feb. 10), Belmont (Feb. 17), North Florida (March 1) and Jacksonville (March 3).

The final A-Sun home games are Feb. 22 against Gardner-Webb and Feb. 24 against Campbell.