Feb. 22, 2007
Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball coach Frank Bennett isn't one to utter four-letter words, but he couldn't help himself.
"It was an ugly game," Bennett said of the Lady Bisons 51-44 loss to Gardner-Webb Thursday night in Atlantic Sun action at Allen Arena. "If we hadn't been fouling them at the end of the game neither team would have reached 50 points.
Bennett wasn't just referring to his Lady Bisons. He pointed to the fact that neither team reached 30 percent in shooting from the field. The Lady Bisons were 16-of-59 from field, 27.1 percent. Gardner-Webb hit only 17-of-58 tries, 29.3 percent.
"It was a very physical game," Bennett said. "I thought we got frustrated after awhile and it sort of took the wind out of our sails. Teams sometimes try to be real physical against us and hope it will be a good tactic.
"If we had limited their second shots in the second half we could have had a chance to win a 42-40 type game. Gardner-Webb is a very good defensive team. They have a hard time scoring. This was the type of game they want to play."
Both teams also struggled from beyond the arc. The Lady Bisons were 3-of-16, 18.8 percent. Gardner-Webb hit 3-of-12 for 25 percent.
"We didn't get many good looks from the outside," Bennett said. "They were locked into our shooters. I wish we had spread it out a little wider to open some lanes for passing to the post and for driving and back-cutting. When you have to work so hard for shots you are not in rhythm when you do get a good look."
The difference in the game was at the free throw line with Gardner-Webb connecting on 14-of-25 attempts, 56 percent. The Lady Bisons hit 9-of-15, 60 percent.
The Lady Bisons controlled most of the first half, taking a 21-20 lead in at intermission. In the second half Gardner-Webb used its physical play to take over, with their biggest lead at nine points (49-40) with 1:05 left to play.
Forward Rachel Davis led the Lady Bisons with a career-high and game-high 16 points.
"Rachel is the one player we have who can thrive in a physical game," Bennett said. "She has a combination of finesse and a power game. She took it to the basket strong.
"She is playing a lot of minutes. The improvement in her conditioning has been dramatic. When she is playing this well we would like to play her more minutes. Her focus is just night-and-day in the last four or five games over what is once was. She has really done a good job for us."
Also in double figures for the Lady Bisons was center Penny Jones with 10 points.
"It really hurt us that Penny got into foul trouble," Bennett said. "She got off to a good start in both halves, but she had to sit a lot."
Forward Jilian Partin led the Lady Bisons in rebounding with nine as they held a 48-45 edge over Gardner-Webb on the boards.
Three Gardner-Webb players finished in double figures, with two of them also recording double-doubles. Shameka Smith led with 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Brittany Harmon, who also had seven blocked shots, finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Candyse Kelly added 12 points.
The Lady Bisons slipped to 6-9 in the conference, 8-17 overall. Gardner-Webb is 9-7 in the A-Sun, 12-15 overall.
The Lady Bisons close out the home portion of the season Saturday afternoon at 4 at Allen Arena with a visit from Campbell.