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January 04, 20131st2ndFinal
USC Upstate365692
Stats at a GlanceLIPUPST
FG Percentage.333 (26-78) .520 (39-75)
3P FG Percentage.200 (5-25) .286 (4-14)
FT Percentage.800 (12-15) .588 (10-17)
Offensive Rebounds1415
Defensive Rebounds2539
Total Rebounds3954
Bench Points1342
PointsSOUTHERN - 18
ReboundsTEAM - 8
HICKS - 12
AssistsDILLARD - 6
StealsDILLARD - 3
BlocksBLISS - 1
Upstate torches Lady Bisons basketball in 92-69 loss
Saturday, January 4, 2014
By Kirk Downs
Upstate torches Lady Bisons basketball in 92-69 loss

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Following a disappointing loss on Thursday, Lipscomb women’s basketball team was still feeling the lingering effects and dropped a 92-69 decision on the road to USC Upstate Saturday afternoon inside the G.B. Hodge Center. 

The Lady Bisons fell to 3-10 overall,  0-2 in the Atlantic Sun. Upstate improved to 6-7, 1-1 in the A-Sun.

Entering the game Lipscomb felt it might have had an advantage down low, but that proved to be false hope as the Lady Spartans had their way the entire game in the paint. The Lady Bisons could not block out and Upstate dominated the boards with a 54-39 advantage.

“I was disappointed in our inability to carry out what we talked about,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “That is the one thing all year long we had done a good job at. Offensively, we had good shots and they fell. We scored enough points that we should have won the game and that is what’s frustrating.

“We told them we had to take away the middle of the lane, and we did not. We told them we had to limit Upstate’s transition and keep them off the boards, and we didn’t do either of those. If you don’t do two of those things, much less all three, then it’s going to be a long night in this conference. “

Both Lipscomb and Upstate were pretty evenly matched for the first 15-and-a-half minutes, with each team hitting 11-of-27 shots and the game tied at 26. Shelby Hicks scored four of her 14 points just before the half to give the Lady Spartans a 36-29 lead.

Ashley Southern paced Lipscomb in the first period with 10 points and three rebounds.

The Lady Bisons shot 32.4 percent in the half while Upstate was lights out at 48.5 percent.

For the first four minutes after the break, Lipscomb came out and fought its way back to a tie game when Sara Bliss knocked down two free throws to make it a 42-42 at the 16:12 mark. From there the game got out of hand within a matter of minutes.

Upstate torched the nets, hitting six straight field goals and using an 18-4 run to extend its lead to 60-46 within two-and-a-half minutes. Brittany Clency was lights out, scoring 10 straight and 13 of the 18 points in that stretch.

“We have got to communicate better and limit those lapses like we had in the second half,” Brown said. “Transition and offensive rebounds were two missing factors today and our emphasis in practice this week will be on protecting the basket and getting the ball stopped defensively.”

After layups from Faith LeGate and Maya Dillard, Lipscomb would get to within eight points at the 11:20 mark at 60-52, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the contest. 

Upstate, came into the game averaging 62.2 points per game.

Three Lady Bisons scored in double-figures, led by Southern’s 18-point and seven-rebound effort.

Bliss scored nine of her 11 points in the second half after going 3-of-6 shooting. She grabbed five rebounds and was the team’s second-leading rebounder of the game.

Danay Fothergill struggled from the field making just 3-of-19 shots and finishing with 10 points. She was credited with three assists and two rebounds.

Kelli Smith and Dillard finished with nine and eight points respectively. Smith drained a season-high three 3-pointers on the day. Dillard dished out six assists. She now has six or more assists in five games this year.

Brittany Starling was a beast for Upstate on Saturday. She was 8-of-12 shooting for 18 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 15 in Upstate’s loss to Mercer Thursday.

Clency scored all 16 of her points in the second half and it was her play that really sparked the home-standing Lady Spartans in the period. Clency dished out seven of Upstate’s season-high 27 assists.

Valese McAllister and Hicks combined for 29 points and 20 rebounds. Alex Stanford was credited with eight assists on the day.

Upstate made 39-of-75 shots for 52 percent while Lipscomb made 26-of-78 for 33.3 percent.

If there was one bright spot for Lipscomb, it only turned the ball over 11 times while getting 15 assists.

“So much of Upstate’s success was because of our out-of-position defense,” Brown said. “We talked about rotating our defense over and helping out, but obviously talking didn’t carry over to the floor very well.

“I thought we had a very good practice Friday, but some of today was inexperience. It will give us a good three days to get back, rest tomorrow and have three good days of practice.”

The Lady Bisons return to Allen Arena after a 40-day hiatus when Kennesaw State visits Nashville on Thursday Jan. 9 for a 6 p.m. tip-off.

Check back later tonight for an updated box score for today's game.