NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the first tune-up match before the regular season, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team fell to Freed Hardeman University 89-81 Thursday night at Allen Arena.
“Freed Hardeman is a really good team,” said Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown. “That’s why they were runner-up last year (nationally in the NAIA). They have good players and played much more aggressive than we did.”
Sara Bliss led the Lady Bisons with 16 points with Ashley Southern not far behind with 15. Bliss was 3-3 from three-point range and 6-7 from the field.
Coupled with her double-digit points, Southern walked out with a double-double picking up 10 rebounds.
“She was a little fast, but she got the double-double,” Brown said. “They did a good job of getting her the ball. A lot of it was just consistency and sustaining things.”
The Lady Bisons traded points with the Lady Lions in the first half ultimately taking a six-point lead after a pair of layups by Bliss and Danay Fothergill put the team up 18-12.
Freed Hardeman answered with six straight shots to tie the game up 18-18. After fighting for the lead midway through the first half, the Lady Lions gained control with a 10-point run, which they held for much of the game.
“We knew we had a lot of work to do defensively,” Brown said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We need to be more aggressive.
“We’ll come back tomorrow and Saturday and work hard. We have another week to prepare before we play again. The key is to make improvement every day. I certainly think we have their attention right now.”
Before the Purple and Gold move on to the final exhibition against Berea College next week, the team will continue working on skills that have been with the athletes since the beginning of their basketball careers.
“Some of it is technique,” Brown said. “We are opening up too much on stances. We were a little late and a little hesitant.
“Some of that will come with experience, but I think the things we have been emphasizing like positioning and ball pressure, we just have to make sure we have no breakdowns in those.”
Paige Melville racked up 25 points and snagged four rebounds for the Lady Lions. Melville picked up most of her points from the free throw line going 15-16. She was 4-10 on field goals and 2-5 from behind the arc.
- Both teams were knotted with 17 turnovers. The Lady Bisons picked up six steals while the Lady Lions gathered five.
- Lipscomb was 32-73 from the field (.438), 6-21 from three-point land (.286), and 11-21 on free throws (.524).
- The Purple and Gold scored 21 points off the bench and 46 from inside the paint. Freed Hardeman picked up 12 points off the bench and 32 inside the paint.
- The Lady Bisons accumulated 42 total rebounds with 17 being on the offensive side and 25 being defensive.