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12/21/2013 | Wright State Nutter Center | Attendance: 116
Saturday, December 21, 2013
FAIRBORN, Ohio – The Christmas break will be a little bit brighter for the Lipscomb women’s basketball team.
Certainly in the closing couple of minutes of Saturday afternoon’s 86-68 win over Gardner-Webb there were plenty of smiles to go around.
The win at the Nutter Center in the consolation game of the Wright State Invitational was the third of the season for the Lady Bisons.
“We are starting to see stuff pay off,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “We made some good reads again and this time we finished shots with it.
“We made some key rebounds. We were 17-of-21 from the free throw line. We shot the ball pretty well. We are getting more and more comfortable playing together as a team.”
The Lady Bisons led by as many as 22 points and led by double figures for the final 13:19.
“We maintained the lead and that is growth,” Brown said. “We have had leads during the year and not been able to maintain them for different reasons. That showed a little bit of poise and leadership.
“We took care of the ball with seven turnovers and 14 assists. It is good to go into the break like this. We did a god job of executing when we had good matchups. It is good for them to see hard work and execution pay off.”
The Lady Bisons tied the season high for points in a game, matching the 86 scored against Jacksonville State in an 86-76 win Dec. 14. Gardner-Webb slipped to 6-5.
After trailing 41-39 at intermission the Lady Bisons opened with 10 unanswered points to set the stage for the final 20 minutes. The run was even more dramatic since starter Chandler Cooper left the game with2:25 left in the first half and did not return.
“We did a heckuva job of playing through some adversity after losing a starter,” Brown said. “We tell them that everyone has to be ready for when their number is called.”
The Lady Bisons, shooting 42.3 percent from the floor overall and 48.5 percent in the second half, were well-balanced in scoring with four players in double figures.
Defensively in the second half Lipscomb did not give up a field goal to Gardner-Webb until the 15:18 mark.
Lipscomb’s Ashley Southern led the way with a game-high 20 points, her second 20-plus scoring game in a row and her fourth of the season. She also led the Lady Bisons with 10 rebounds, six of them in the second half. Southern, who has eight double-doubles this season, was named to the All-Tournament team.
Also in double figures for the Lady Bisons were Danay Fothergill with 19, tying her season high; Maya Dillard with a season-and-career high 16 and Sara Bliss who chipped in 13.
“They were denying us hard,” Brown said. “Gardner-Webb is a big, strong team. We did a good job of getting some back cuts. We did a good job of attacking.
“I do think playing against the Georgia’s, the Kentucky’s and the Bradley’s prepared us for playing against a big, strong, physical team. That is certainly good as we head into the conference.”
Dillard, who played 39 minutes, was credited with a game-high nine assists, giving her 19 for the past two games. She also posted a game-high eight field goals made.
“Maya is a tough little kid,” Brown said. “As a freshman she has had to adjust to being a point guard in college, learning a new system, communication and being away from home all factor in. She is starting to get to a comfort level.”
Gardner-Webb was led by Jasmine Dale with 19 points. Catrina Green finished with a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Jessica Helig also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Bisons will be off until the night of Dec. 26 before returning for practice in preparation for a Dec. 29 meeting with No. 3 Tennessee in Knoxville.
“Our players have been very resilient,” Brown said. “They are not frustrated or demoralized. They just come back and work hard. Hopefully, their work will continue to pay off.
“They have a great mindset. They get along really well together. That will carry us a long way.”
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