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12/17/2013 | Stegeman Coliseum -- Athens, Ga. | Attendance: 2269
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. – After picking up a road win on Saturday, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team ran out of gas against the home-standing and No. 16 Georgia Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum and fell 81-46.
“I thought early on, game-plan wise, we executed,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “Obviously, they're strong, talented and long so we have to try to make up for that a little bit. “The first 12 to 15 minutes we did what we were supposed to do...little fatigue, sub rotations...and that's where their depth and talent kind of took over."
Erika Ford scored the game’s first five points for Georgia before Danay Fothergill hit a rhythm 3-pointer to get the Lady Bisons on the board.
Outsized and outmatched, Lipscomb continued to cling to life even with the Lady Dogs grabbing 12 offensive rebounds and scoring 11 second-chance points in the first half. For the first 16 minutes of the Tuesday night tilt, every time Georgia tried to extend its lead, the Lady Bisons answered with clutch baskets.
In the last five minutes of the half, Merritt Hempe and Shacobia Barbee combined to score 15 of UGA’s final 18 points of the half to give the Lady Dogs a 39-23 lead at the intermission.
“Their depth and rotation got to us a little bit and then we started forcing some shots,” Brown said. “That is where their maturity and our lack of kind of took over.”
Fothergill scored 12 of her team-leading 15 points in the opening stanza. She was able to pull down five boards and swipe two steals in only her second game in the Purple and Gold.
"She's a tough kid, and she's young. That's the best thing about her,” Brown said of Fothergill. “Putting them in these type of environments…you know the best thing about it is that we don't have to play Georgia to win a conference championship so to get them to compete at the highest level is what we're looking for them to do."
In the second half Georgia picked up right where it left off in the first, hitting 10 of its first 17 shots to make a 45-7 run and extend the lead to 71-30.
Five Lady Bisons would score over the last five minutes, a stretch where Lipscomb outscored Georgia 16-10 to end the game.
The Lady Bulldogs showed their No. 16 ranking and stayed undefeated at 11-0 on the season. The loss for Lipscomb halted at two-game road win streak and dropped the record to 2-6.
Southern fell short of a fifth-straight double-double, ending the night with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Reigning Atlantic Sun Player of the Week, Chandler Cooper, cooled off against the ruthless Bulldog defense, managing only seven points on 3-of-13 shooting. She did grab three rebounds and two steals on the night.
Kelli Smith stroked two long range jumpers late in the half for her only points of the night.
Georgia out-rebounded the A-Sun’s third-ranked rebounding team, 55-31. Lipscomb only shot 26-percent from the floor on 15-of-58 shooting. Three nights after hitting 13 three’s, the Lady Bisons found six against Georgia.
“We told the team, ‘you don’t have to play Georgia to win a conference championship’,” Brown said. “Everything we are doing right now is to prepare us for conference and the three games in the tournament. To be able to play a team that competes at the highest level and competes with a level of excellence is great. That is exactly what we want our kids exposed to.
“We have played several and we still have Tennessee to go to, but it's good for us. We become accustomed to how to play at this level and raise our game. That's what we want to take back when we go into conference."
Barbee, who was coached by Lipscomb assistant John Wild at Riverdale High School, led all scorers on the night with a career-high 16 points. She also snagged eight boards and dished out four assists. Hempe and Tiaria Griffin were the only other Lady Bulldogs to reach double figures with 15 and 12 respectively. Griffin also added a game-high nine rebounds.
The Lady Bisons continue the seven-game road trip in Dayton, Ohio on Friday in the Wright State Invitational. Lipscomb faces Bradley at 3:30 p.m. in the opening game of the event.
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