“We have to transition, block out, use screens and use our smarts to neutralize athletic teams,” Bennett said.
The Lady Bisons closed out their home stand Monday night with a 62-43 loss to Jacksonville.
The game was “Think Pink/Pack the House Night” with the Lady Bisons wearing specially designed pink uniforms trimmed in purple and white. The event shows support for breast cancer awareness with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and St. Thomas Women’s Health Services benefitting from the evening.
Despite frightful weather outside 1,630 fans were in attendance at Allen Arena. Bennett was pleased with the crowd, but he would have liked for his team to give fans more to cheer for in the game.
Bennett stressed the need to keep motivating his young team.
“Every day we have to demand the effort that we need,” Bennett said. “We are not quitters. We can play very well. We have to put the past behind us and come the next day and play hard and play smart.
“Teams that are really athletic like Jacksonville are the ones that are the hardest ones for us to play. We don’t have quite as much athleticism as some other teams.”
The Lady Bisons trailed 33-21 at intermission after trailing by as many as 17 in the first half.
Jacksonville opened the second half with a 7-0 run. Freshman forward Hannah Phillips scored with 17:16 left in the game, the first points in the second half for the Lady Bisons.
“I thought after getting down both halves we really picked up the intensity level,” Bennett said. “We have trouble once we get that intensity level to be under control and play smart at the same time.
“We forced shots trying to go one-on-four and make something happen. Or we would try to make a difficult pass. I would rather have us playing hard. We can work on playing smarter and under control.”
Turnovers caused problems for the Lady Bisons with Jacksonville getting 28 points off of 26 mistakes. Jacksonville made 22 turnovers with the Lady Bisons scoring on 18.
Jacksonville also held the advantage on the boards, 51-34, including 18 offensive rebounds.
“We talked before the game that we had to take of the ball,” Bennett said. “We were minus-five at halftime. We needed to put bodies on them and we weren’t doing that consistently enough.
“We have to be stronger in the post. Overall Jacksonville was big and athletic. We didn’t get anything out of our post players.”
Jacksonville scored on the first possession of the game on a jumper by Gigi Thomas. The Lady Bisons never led in the game.
With 14:21 left in the first half Jacksonville led 12-2. The Lady Bisons trailed by double figures the rest of the game.
Junior forward Valerie Bronson and Phillips each scored eight points to lead the Lady Bisons. Freshman forward Morgan Faulkner led the team with six rebounds.
The Lady Bisons shot only 28 percent from the field, including two-of-22 from 3-point range.
“We need to shoot the ball with confidence,” Bennett said.
Guard Drameka Griggs paced Jacksonville with 11 points. Jacksonville shot 38.2 percent from the field and hit only one-of-seven 3-point tries.
The Lady Bisons, 4-21, 2-13 in the conference, are on the road Thursday at 4 p.m. at USC Upstate. Jacksonville is 7-15, 6-8 in the A-Sun.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations