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Jacksonville (10-12, 7-4 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (4-19, 1-11 A-Sun)
2/13/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 276
Thursday, February 13, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Getting double-figure scoring from all five starters, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team scored a season-high 94 points in a 94-79 Atlantic Sun Conference win over Jacksonville on Thursday night at Allen Arena.
“I’m happy for our team,” said Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown. “When kids work that hard to see it payoff is fantastic. We did a good job of executing. It wasn’t perfect but we made plays and we answered runs which is the thing that we have not been able to do all year.”
With the win Lipscomb improved to 4-19 overall and 1-11 in the A-Sun. Jacksonville dropped to 10-12 overall and 7-4 in league play.
Behind a three-prong scoring attack of Chandler Cooper, Sara Bliss and Kelli Smith, the Lady Bisons built a 46-37 lead advantage against the Dolphins in the opening half. Cooper, the reigning A-Sun Newcomer of the Week played a big part in putting Lipscomb out in front early scoring 12 of the first 24 points for the Lady Bisons.
Nine treys in the opening 20 minutes of action helped build the lead at the break but it would be a pair of free throws from Bliss that would give Lipscomb its largest lead of the night at 44-28 with 2:36 to play before the break.
“I think we found our identity tonight,” said Brown. “Our identity is to get up and play a little bit. And now that we’ve got some depth our guys came off the bench and played well.
The nine-point first-half advantage held until 11:07 remaining when the Dolphins capped off a 17-2 run tying the game 61-61 on a layup by Queen Alford. That served as a wakeup call for Lipscomb as the Lady Bisons went on a 15-2 run capped off by a Cooper jumper with 6:53 to go to push the lead back to 13 points.
Posting her third-straight game of 20-plus points, Cooper led the way in the victory with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 5-of-10 mark from beyond the arc.
“They were face guarding Chandler and riding her and she did a nice job of hitting shots when she was open,” said Brown. “That’s the thing with Kelli too; we made them pay when they didn’t rotate right. That’s what’s exciting is to see those things that we’ve seen on film and we’ve seen in practice to click and to make them work.”
Smith finished just behind Cooper with a career-high 18 points, while Bliss added 16. Danay Fothergill and Ashley Southern rounded out the double-figure scorers with 14 and 11, respectively.
The Lady Bisons tied a season-high with 20 assists on 28 made field goals.
Lipscomb managed to outshoot the Dolphins 48.3 percent to 46.8 percent but 3-pointers were the big difference as the Lady Bisons hit 15-of-28 while Jacksonville hit only 1-of-4. Free throws were a large part of the victory as well as Lipscomb hit 23-of-32 for 71.9 percent while JU was only 20-of-36 for 55.6 percent from the charity stripe.
The Lady Bisons also led the turnover battle forcing a season-high 28 turnovers by the Dolphins while turning the ball over 24 times. JU held a decided advantage on the boards though outrebounding Lipscomb 43-34.
The 94 points scored, the most allowed by Jacksonville this season, is the third-highest scoring output by a Lady Bisons squad and ties the record for most points scored against a conference opponent.
“I’m just proud of our kids being able to execute, play with rhythm, play within themselves and put us in a position to get in the (A-Sun) tournament,” said Brown. “The old cliché is to play your best basketball at the end of the season. I don’t think there’s any doubt that we are right now.”
The Lady Bisons continue home action on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. hosting North Florida in a key A-Sun contest. The “We Back Pat” contest will also air on ESPN3. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation for Alzheimer’s research. To purchase tickets visit http://www.lipscombtickets.com or call 615-966-HERD (4373).
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