Jan. 26, 2008
KENNESAW, Ga. _ It was the classic tale of two halves with the Lipscomb Lady Bisons playing a strong first half, but failing to duplicate that level of play in the final 20 minutes.
The Lady Bisons built a 28-22 halftime lead, but were outscored 34-20 in the second half in a 56-48 Atlantic Sun loss at the Convocation Center at Kennesaw State Saturday afternoon.
"We are a better team," said Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett. "We are seeing improvement in a lot of areas. The little things are keeping us from getting there.
"In this league a lot of games are going to go down to the wire. We just have to execute and finish the game off."
Junior forward Jilian Partin set the tone of the game early giving the Lady Bisons a 2-0 lead on a lay-up at 19:17. She followed with a 3-pointer at 18:21 for a 5-2 lead. The Lady Bisons led 8-7 with 14:40 left in the first half as center Rachel Viehmann connected on the second of two free throw attempts.
Kennesaw State took over at that point and kept the lead until Partin found the range on a 3-pointer with 5:21 on the clock to give the Lady Bisons a 21-20 lead.
In the second half Kennesaw State attacked quickly with a three lay-ups and a jump shot in their first four possessions.
The game was tied at 28-28 with 18:40 remaining in the game. Kennesaw State pulled ahead 30-28 and never looked back. The Lady Bisons cut the lead to five, 45-40, with 6:29 to go in the game.
Kennesaw State twice led by 10 in the second half.
The Lady Bisons played without junior Katie Rollins, their starting center and leading scorer, who was dealing with a bout of the flu. Junior Rachel Davis made her first start of the season in place of Rollins.
Kennesaw State held a 40-37 advantage on the boards.
"I thought we did a pretty good job of having people step up with Katie out," Bennett said. "We didn't notice a big drop off."
Turnovers were a key factor in the game with the Lady Bisons making 28, 14 in each half. Kennesaw State made 20 turnovers.
"We had a lot of good things happen," Bennett said. "But when you turn it over and give them lay-ups it is tough to win. You can't guard lay-ups off of turnovers."
Partin led the Lady Bisons with 13 points and 13 rebounds, her third double-double of the season. The 13 rebounds are both a season and career high.
"Jilian has played consistently hard," Bennett said. "She is really getting after it and you can't ask for more than that."
Freshman guard Jenna Bartsokas posted her third double figures game in a row, finishing with 12 points. She has scored in double figures in five games.
"At the No. 1 guard Jenna she was having to dog the ball on defense, handle the ball against pressure on offense and then try to get shots," Bennett said. "There was a lot of physical wear and tear. She is playing off the ball on offense and that is freeing her up a little bit.
"She is one of our most athletic players. She has good skills."
Guard Greteya Kelley scored a game-high 20 points. Guard Jennifer Baker added 10. Forward Brittany Henderson had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Bisons are 4-16 overall, 2-4 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State is 9-9, 4-2 in the A-Sun.
The next stop for the Lady Bisons is Macon, Ga., Monday night to face Mercer in an A-Sun game at 6.
"We won't practice very hard Sunday," Bennett said. "We will just try to get sharper on some things.
"Mercer is going to play solid defense. They play well at home. We are going to have to take care of the ball and get on the boards. Those are our two keys in every game."