A lack of consistent play spelled the difference Thursday night at the Lady Bisons fell 56-52 to rival Belmont at the Curb Center in the first “Battle of the Boulevard” of the season.
The difference in the game was in the first five-and-a-half minutes of the second half when Belmont scored 13 unanswered points to turn a 28-27 advantage to 41-27 at 14:27.
“We lost a lot of intensity when we came out for the second half,” said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett, who was dealing with cold symptoms. “The last 15 minutes of the second half I thought we had good intensity on both ends of the court.”
The Lady Bisons have struggled on the boards most of the season. But led by a season-high and game-high 10 rebounds by center Brittany Duerk the Lady Bisons finished a minus-2 on the boards, 37-35.
“Duerk did a good job,” Bennett said. “She has had good rebounding games this season and last season. We need her to be consistent.”
Forward Leah McAlister, still slowed by a injury, scored five points, including one 3-point shot, and also had one steal.
Guards Jenna Bartsokas, with 15 points; and Anna Bowers with 12, led the Lady Bisons in scoring.
Forward Haley Nelson led Belmont with 18 points. Also in double figures were guard Molly Ernst with 12 and forward Cacy Burtnett with 11.
The Lady Bisons, losers of back-to-back A-Sun games for the first time this season, fought from behind for most of the game. Their last lead of the game was 25-24 with 1:17 left in the first half on a 3-point shot by forward Valerie Bronson.
“We didn’t play a bad first half,” Bennett said. “But it wasn’t as close at halftime as I would have liked it to be.”
The Lady Bisons, 7-9, 4-3 in the conference, will return to the court Monday night to play Campbell in an Atlantic Sun game at Allen Arena. Belmont is also 7-9 and 4-3 in the A-Sun.
“One good thing is we don’t play Saturday,” Bennett said. “Win or lose it is tough to come back from a big rivalry game like this and play.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.