“We have a different atmosphere,” Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett said. “They are more committed to working hard. They are probably the closest team we have had in awhile.
“There are a lot of things from the mental side of it and from the team side of it that are definitely different. Our seniors, particularly, want to see this year be different. “
With finals finished for the semester the Lady Bisons return to the court for the first time since Dec. 8.
Saturday night at 6 the Lady Bisons, 4-4, 1-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, will face Kennesaw State in a conference doubleheader at Allen Arena. The men’s teams will play at approximately 8:15.
Kennesaw State’s women, 2-5, 0-1 in the A-Sun, lost 71-55 at Belmont Thursday night.
The Lady Bisons are only one win away from equaling last season’s victory total. Bennett claimed in preseason that fans would see a much-improved Lady Bisons team and in the first eight games they have delivered.
“There is a lot of determination on the team,” Bennett said. “They are determined to find a way to win.
“There is the saying that those who work the hardest are the last to surrender. They have really put in a lot of work going back to last spring. They were playing about four days a week on their own. John Hudy, our strength and conditioning coach, put them through a rigorous preseason conditioning program. They have put a lot into it.”
The Lady Bisons split with Kennesaw State last season losing 70-52 on the road Dec. 5 and winning 64-56 at Allen Arena Feb. 25.
“Kennesaw State is always a very athletic team,” Bennett said. “They put a lot of pressure on you and play an up tempo game.
“Rebounding was a big issue last year. Down there we were outrebounded by 37 and we were still in the game in the last five minutes which was amazing. When we played them here they outrebounded us by 21 and we won the game.”
The Lady Bisons are led in scoring by guards Anna Bowers and Jenna Bartsokas. Bowers is second in the A-Sun overall in scoring with a 16.5 points per game average. Bartsokas is fourth with an average of 14.4 points per game.
Guard Miaca Bowman leads the conference with a 2.17 assist/turnover ratio. She is eighth overall in assists with 3.25 per game. Forward Leah McAlister is sixth in the conference with a .391 three-point field goal percentage.
“We have some tough games coming up,” Bennett said. “We have to keep improving. We just want to get better with each game.”
Writtten by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.