Feb. 1, 2007
The Lady Bisons faced one of their most physical challenges of the season, but came away with a 68-57 win Thursday night over Kennesaw State.
The Lady Bisons went to the line for 35 free throws, hitting 24 of them. Kennesaw State went to the line for 15 shots, hitting nine.
The win at Allen Arena lifts the Lady Bisons to 4-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, 6-14 overall. Kennesaw State slipped to 4-6 in the conference, 8-12 overall. It was the first time in four tries that the Lady Bisons have beaten Kennesaw State.
"It was very physical," Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett said. "There were a lot of fouls called. I'm proud of the way we played.
"I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping our heads. We didn't get rattled. We didn't let them get any big runs. In the past, we had a tendency to let that happen."
Bennett credited the maturity level of the team for keeping everything under control despite the physical play.
"We have some fourth-year juniors, some juniors and a couple of seniors," Bennett said. "Having been through these types of games before helped them some."
The Lady Bisons kept it close in the first half with the lead changing four times. The Lady Bisons biggest lead in the first half was four points (18-14) on a free throw by guard Dana Carrigan at 8:26.
In the final 3:37 before intermission the lead changed five times. A lay-up by Carrigan gave the Lady Bisons a 32-31 lead, but Kennesaw State came back with a lay-up by Jennifer Baker with six seconds left for a 33-32 advantage at the half.
In the second half the Lady Bisons opened with a lay-up by forward Jilian Partin for a 34-33 lead. The Lady Bisons did not allow Kennesaw State to tie the game or retake the lead in the second half.
The Lady Bisons led by as many as 12 points in the second half on five different occasions, the last at 56-44 with 8:52 left to play.
The closest Kennesaw State would get to the Lady Bisons was seven points (59-52) on a 3-point shot by DeAndrea Bullock. With 3:03 remaining.
The Lady Bisons outscored Kennesaw State 9-5 the rest of the way to ice the game.
"Our defense was very good in the second half," Bennett said. "We got Kennesaw State a little rattled. We held them below 30 percent for the game. The big challenge was stopping their second shots.
"They are quick and fast. Our challenges were keeping them from getting transition baskets and keeping them from getting second shots."
Partin led with a career-high and a game-high 16 points. She also led the Lady Bisons in rebounding with 11, her second double-double of the season. It was also the second time this season she has grabbed 11 rebounds, tying for the team single-game high.
It was Partin's third time to lead the Lady Bisons in scoring and third time to lead in rebounding.
"Jilian has played really hard," Bennett said. "She goes to the board. She can play a driving game which we haven't had before. She is getting some offensive boards.
"Two months ago in practice she really started picking it up. We had to play her more and adjust our line-up to get her in there."
Three other Lady Bisons scored in double figures. Point guard Catie Woods with 14 points to extend her double-figures scoring streak to five games and seven of her last eight. Carrigan finished with 13, extending her double figures streak to five games. Center Penny Jones added 10.
"Rachel Viehmann played a little more than usual," Bennett said, "She gives us a defensive presence. She hit three of her four shots so she helped us on both ends.
"Rachel Davis was physical and played strong. She made some tough baskets. She played well defensively. She didn't have any lapses."
The Lady Bisons 46.7 from the field, hitting 21-of-45 shots. They connected on only two of 13 3-point shots, 15.4 percent.
Baker finished with a double-double for Kennesaw State with a game-high 16 rebounds and a team-leading 15 points.
Kennesaw State hit 21 of 78 field goal attempts, 26.9 percent. Kennesaw State hit six of 27 from 3-point range, 22.2 percent.
The Lady Bisons have one day to prepare for a visit from ETSU Saturday afternoon at 4 at Allen Arena.
"We needed this win, but ETSU is going to be a challenge," Bennett said. "We have not played them well except for one half last year. We have to take care of the ball against their pressure. They have a good combination of shooters, post players and quick defenders."