Lady Bisons best visiting Bucs, earn place in A-Sun tourney...
The Lady Bisons (6-22) put together one of their most complete efforts of the season in a 76-74 victory over the East Tennessee State Bucs (9-19) on Thursday night at Allen Arena.
A go-ahead 3-pointer from junior guard Sara Bliss 13.8 seconds left gave Lipscomb a 74-72 lead, which they did not relinquish.
The game started off on a good note for Lipscomb. Bliss secured the opening tip and euro-stepped her way to a 3-point play. She ended up with 14 points on the night including three 3’s.
“I knew we were down, and I heard the bench yelling that the shot clock was going down, it was at five or six seconds,” Bliss said. “So, Chandler kicked it to me, and my coaches always tell me to shoot, so I shot.”
“I’ll be as honest as I can be,” said Lady Bisons head coach Greg Brown, “We do that [play] every day. That’s another kick-out 3 for us. That’s the second time she’s done that. The best thing about it, it wasn’t run for her. We had three options that led to a great reversal pass to a wide open player.”
Lipscomb shot well from behind the arc the entire night. The team finished 10-for-20 from deep in the game. Redshirt freshman guard Chandler Cooper and redshirt sophomore guard Danay Fothergill, along with Bliss, led the Lady Bisons with three long range baskets each. Cooper and Fothergill scored 16 and 19 points respectively in the contest.
Redshirt sophomore forward Ashley Southern came up big for Lipscomb once again. Southern racked up 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a career-high five steals on the night. Southern and the rest of the team made up for a size disadvantage by winning many of the loose balls in a physical contest.
“To be small like we are, we have to be physical,” Brown, “The closer it gets to the tournament, the more it’s going to be physical like that.”
After heading into halftime down six, 41-34, the Lady Bisons started off the second half on fire, and eventually tied the game at 45 thanks to a Cooper 3-pointer less than five minutes into the half.
“I thought we settled down,” Brown said. “It was rebounding the ball, and being a little more patient on defense. We figured out, too, that we had some good match-ups that we could attack.
“So we did a good job of recognizing, getting the ball moving and getting to the free throw line. We’re at our best when we can play inside-out with 3’s and finish inside.”
The second half was a back-and-forth affair from that moment on. Immediately following Bliss’s clutch three-pointer to give the Lady Bisons the lead, the Bucs drove down the court and missed a jumper that was rebounded by Cooper. Cooper was fouled and subsequently iced the game from the free throw line. ETSU scored two-pointer at the buzzer, but it was too little too late, giving the Lady Bisons a 76-74 victory.
The win has the Lady Bisons in the eighth seed for the Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Championship.
The regular season concludes Saturday with a matinee against USC Upstate at 1 p.m.