|October 29, 2015||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||FHU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.268 (19-71)||.400 (26-65)|
|3P FG Percentage||.256 (10-39)||.357 (5-14)|
|FT Percentage||.571 (12-21)||.545 (6-11)|
Brandee Busenlehner - 21
- 11||Jessica Davies
Ashley Southern - 12
Morgan Warren - 4
- 4||Ashley Southern
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The roster may be smaller this season for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team but in terms of talent coach Greg Brown says it is definitely deeper.
Brown liked the balanced approach he saw from his team Thursday night in a 63-60 win over Freed-Hardeman University in an exhibition game at Allen Arena to open the 2015-16 season. The roster was a little thinner with Alex Banks and Morgan Turner sidelined for the evening. Before the end of the first half Riley Northway took a blow to the face and did not return for the second half.
“I think that is how it is going to be,” Brown said. “Our roster is smaller, it is the deepest talent level we have had since I have been here. When we get everybody back we will be 10-deep and we will be able to play 10 people.
“There was some adversity with Alex and Morgan out. Then Riley took the shiner. It was neat to watch as we put them (remaining players) into some adversity that they had to handle. That was good to see early.”
The Lady Bisons led 35-25 at intermission. Freed-Hardeman opened the second half with a 14-4 run to tie the game at 39-39.
With the game tied again at 45-45 with 2:08 left in the third quarter the Lady Bisons scored seven unanswered points to take a 52-45 lead at 8:49 of the fourth quarter.
Lipscomb extended the lead to 58-47 with 6:21 left to play. Freed-Hardeman, a Fab Four team in the NAIA for the past two seasons, refused to give up. The Lions trimmed the Lipscomb lead to 59-57 with 1:44 left to play.
Lipscomb’s Kelli Smith came off the bench and immediately fired a long distance 3-pointer for a 62-57 lead with 1:09 on the clock. Smith also would add a free throw with 12 seconds remaining.
“Kelli went out there and she was ready to go to take that shot,” Brown said. “Last year she might have hesitated.”
A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Freed-Hardeman’s Taleeah Cross closed out the game.
“We showed great poise to close it out,” Brown said. “I am proud of their effort and attitude. We talked about things they could control and we did that.”
Ashley Southern, a unanimous selection to the Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference team, led the way for the Lady Bisons with 16 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double.
“Ashley got some nice looks,” Brown said. “They did a good job of finding her. She does a good job of getting good position and fanning it back out when she needs to do it.”
Newcomer Jessica Davies tied Southern for the team and game lead in rebounds with 12.
“The biggest thing for her is that she typically plays on the perimeter in the zone,” Brown said. “When Riley went out she had to play the bottom quite a bit.
“It was a great adjustment on her part. She didn’t have many reps in practice there. She showed a lot of poise.”
Three Lady Bisons finished with nine points each – Smith, Chandler Cooper and Loren Cagle.
“Loren did a great job of handling the point and running the team,” Brown said. “She has quick hands. You can see the improvement from last year.”
Cross and Brandee Busenlehner both finished with 21 points for Freed-Hardeman. Cross completed the double-double with 11 rebounds.
“We are looking for growth,” Brown said. “It is a common cliché but each day we have seen a little bit of growth in what we are doing. That is exciting.”
- Lipscomb led 35-25 at the half. Freed-Hardeman outscored the Lady Bisons 20-15 in the third quarter and 15-13 in the fourth.
- This was the first game the Lady Bisons played under the new rules with the game being divided into four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.
“It is something to get used to,” Brown said. “The first quarter seemed to last an eternity. It felt like we had played a half.”
The Lady Bisons have one more exhibition game scheduled. Young Harris College will visit for a 6:30 p.m. game at Allen Arena Nov. 7.
The regular season begins Nov. 13 when Loyola (Maryland) makes a visit to Nashville.