Monday, February 11, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Stepping out of Atlantic Sun Conference action for the Battle of the Boulevard, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team fell 61-39 to rival Belmont Monday at the Curb Event Center.
The Ohio Valley Conference’s top team, Belmont, improves to 15-10 while the Lady Bisons fall to 2-21.
The Lady Bisons opened with a quick surge as Hannah Phillips swished a 3-point basket and Alex Banks got a trey to fall after rattling around all parts of the rim. Presley Stastny scored on a layup to give Lipscomb the early 8-2 lead.
Sasha Robinson made a layup off an offensive rebound to give the Purple and Gold a 10-6 lead with 13:55 remaining.
Belmont received an offensive spark from Jordyn Luffman as the Bruins pushed an 11-0 run to take a 17-10 lead with 9:55 remaining. Luffman scored seven points in the run.
The two squads would match each other basket-for-basket over the next nine minutes before Statsny drained a long 3-point basket to make the score 28-22 with 27 seconds on the clock.
A Lipscomb defensive stop to end the half left the intermission score with the Bisons down just six after being down by 11 with 3:43 remaining.
A 3-point basket to start the half, coming from Kelli Smith, cut the deficit to just three but a pair of Luffman free throws increased the lead back to five.
The Bruins used timely shooting to slowly build a lead up to a 15-point lead at 44-29 with 9:22 remaining in the game.
With the Bruins leading 48-36 with 7:36 remaining, both teams went on a cold streak which lasted the next 3:34, the exception being five Belmont charity shots. When the next field goal was made, a layup by Jordan Coleman, the Bruins led 55-36, and the Lady Bisons were unable to recover.
“When we went over our six keys of the game, we did a pretty good job of executing,” head coach Greg Brown said. “We have such a small margin of error. A turnover and a lack of transition, we have a hard time making up those points.
“I thought our effort was good, and at this point that is all we can ask out of them.”
Stastny led the Lady Bisons with 14 points. The Bruin defense held Phillips to just five points after averaging 20.4 points over her last five games.
“The defense is going to key in on Hannah,” Brown said. “Their (Belmont) length and athleticism came into play there.
“We don’t have anyone right now that we can go to and say, hey we need a basket. It puts so much pressure on Hannah instead of opening her up.”
Luffman, who did not play in the first meeting between the two schools, had a game-high 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Bruins.
“She is a talented player,” Brown said. “We need to try and pick our poison and with four freshmen a lot of times on the floor, we try to hold below averages. Sometimes that just happens with talented players.”
Lipscomb gets back into A-Sun action Saturday with the schedule not getting any easier hosting the A-Sun’s top squad Florida Gulf Coast. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m. in Allen Arena.