MACON, Ga. – After falling behind by as many as 16 points in the second half the Lipscomb University Lady Bisons battled back against the Mercer Bears to close the deficit to one point but the they were not able to complete the comeback and fell 69-59 Thursday evening in the University Center.
Lipscomb opened the game hitting seven of its first 12 attempts from the field and took a 16-6 lead just under eight minutes into the game.
The Lady Bisons strong shooting hand cooled as Lipscomb missed 15 of their next 16 attempts.
Mercer went on a 25-2 run from the 13:11 mark until Leah McAlister made a layup with 1:07 left in the half. Mercer took a 31-20 lead into halftime.
Mercer extended its lead to 16 points, 36-30, three minutes into the second half.
The Lady Bisons did not give up and fought back into the game. Lipscomb responded with an 11-3 run capped by a 3-pointer by Jenna Bartsokas with 15:05 left.
After Mercer built its lead back to up to 12 points, Bartsokas led Lipscomb on a 7-0 running hitting a 3-pointer and two free throws to make it a 45-40 game at the 12:11 mark.
Mercer’s Lacy Ramon had a conventional three-point play and Courtney Ford made a layup to extend Mercer’s lead back to 10.
Lipscomb steadily closed the margin to one point, 56-55, following a 3-pointer by Hannah Phillips and a jumper by Anna Bowers two possessions later.
The Lady Bisons did not score on their next three possessions and Mercer regained an eight point lead with 2:43 left on a 7-0 run.
The Lady Bisons made one final stab at the lead with two free throws by Hannah Phillips and a layup by Brittany Duerk.
Lipscomb was forced to foul and Mercer connected on all six free throws in the final minute to secure its victory.
Bartsokas led Lipscomb with 19 points and five assists.
Lipscomb held a 40-37 advantage on the boards. Brittany Duerk had a team-high eight boards.
Latoya Jackson had 17 points to pace Mercer. She was 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Courtney Ford had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bisons travel north Saturday evening to face Kennesaw State at 4 p.m. CST. Benjamin Seamon and Ben Flatt have the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network. Free online audio streaming is available at www.LipscombSports.com/sportsnetwork/.