Women's hoops finds mentor for rookies in Southern
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Women's hoops finds mentor for rookies in Southern

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb women’s basketball forward Ashley Southern had an historic first year with the Lady Bisons during the 2013-14 season.

After a year of experience in a Lady Bison uniform, Southern’s growth on and off the court will be utilized for the overall progression of the team.

“Ashley’s shown so much growth from last year and then over the summer,” said Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown. “Even now at the start of practice, she teaches growth and more poise. It’s exciting to watch where she has come from and what’s in store for her this season.”

Along with the other returnees for the Lady Bisons, Southern will play a key role in introducing and teaching the five new freshmen the team’s system.

“She did a great job communicating with the younger players and the freshmen and helping them come along,” Brown said. “That’s been the fun thing with this team so far. We’re starting to see some of the veterans teach the rookies and I think that’ll help our growth tremendously this season.”

The native of Tuscumbia, Alabama is already seeing improvements with the team overall.

“Over the last month or so, I can see we have a lot more energy than we’ve had in a long time,” Southern said. “We talk a lot more and the communication is really good. The freshmen who’ve come in are doing a great job of keeping us accountable. I can see everyone is moving and working together more.”

Southern feels the big difference in being a veteran of the game for the Lady Bisons is her knowledge and familiarity with playing together.

“We understand what we are expected to do,” Southern said. “We understand how to play together. Last year we were all new coming in and playing together. Having a year to play together helps a lot.”

Southern has already started off the upcoming year on a high note. She was named to the Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference Team last week for her outstanding on-court performance last year.

She was also a nominee for the fan-voted Preseason Player of the Year award alongside Florida Gulf Coast’s Whitney Knight, Jacksonville’s Briona Brown, and Kennesaw State’s Kristina Wells.

Alongside senior Sara Bliss, Southern was one of two Lady Bisons to start in all 30 games played last season.

Southern broke the school record for double-doubles collecting 22. She logged the most double-doubles in the A-Sun since 2008 and was tied for 11th most double-doubles in the nation.

She was the leading rebounder in the A-Sun averaging 11.4 rebounds per game ranking her 15th in the nation. She was also the second-leading scorer in the conference averaging 15.8 points per game.

Southern was named last year’s Newcomer of the Year and was the first Lady Bison since the 2010-11 season to be named to the A-Sun All-Conference Team in the postseason.

She racked up 473 points claiming the individual season record set by Courtney Boynton in 2003-04. She capped the record by 10 points. 

Southern will lead the Lady Bisons in a pair of exhibition games against Freed Hardeman and Berea College on Oct. 30 and Nov. 7. The Purple and Gold open up the regular season hosting Georgia Southern on Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. in Allen Arena.

Season tickets for Lipscomb women’s basketball are on sale starting at $30. To purchase call (615) 966-HERD or email tickets@lipscomb.edu.

To order your season tickets online, visit LipscombSports.com/tickets/basketball.