The Lipscomb women’s basketball team suffered an agonizing loss to the Tennessee State Tigers 50-49 Wednesday night at Allen Arena.
Sophomore guard Blythe Pearson scored 20 points for the Bisons, adding 7 rebounds as well. Pearson went 7-11 from the field, shooting 64%.
Senior center Dorie Harrison added 11 points for Lipscomb. The Kentucky transfer pulled down 16 rebounds, a season high.
“Honestly, we kinda got rattled by the press,” assistant coach Colsten Thompson said. “They’re super athletic with a type of defense we haven’t really seen yet.”
The first quarter was a close battle on the court, both teams swinging back and forth with baskets, ending at 8-8. Cook led off with 4 points for the team, Collier and Hemphill both adding two for the team. Defense played fantastically on both teams, putting up a fight for anyone to make an easy shot.
In the second quarter the Bisons fell behind at 15-14, Tennessee State making a big run at the start, but Lipscomb pulled ahead making a series of shots to catch up. Harrison made 6 of the 14 shots for the Bisons, Vinson coming in second with five for her team, Pearson making three points. Static energy enveloped the court as our team was one point behind at 23-22 for halftime.
“Once we got settled into the rhythm coming out into the second half, we were able to kinda get going defensively a bit,” Thompson said.
Starting off with a three-pointer, Pearson made another and ended with a three-pointer, giving her team 9 points in the third quarter. Jordan Peete blew out her shoes, needing a new pair of kicks during the play giving the players a bit of a break. Though it set them back to only 11 points made while Tennessee State made 17.
The fourth quarter started electric, and tension filled the court with 6:06 left on the timer. When Pearson scored the basket, Hemphill and TSU’s Westbrook collided. Hemphill pushed the opposing team member and Westbrook pushed back. Pearson came to Hemphill’s aid, pushing Adams, another Tiger in the chaos. Hemphill ran to taunt, receiving a technical foul on top of two-offsetting intentional fouls on each side.
With 13 seconds to go, TSU missed two free throws to keep the deficit at two points for the Bisons. Peete grabbed a crucial rebound and Lipscomb called time out to talk the situation over. Pearson missed a potential game-tying shot, and Harrison was fouled on the rebound. Harrison knocked in the first free-throw leaving the Bisons behind by only one point at 50-49. Her second shot just missed, but there was more drama to ensue.
In a bizarre turn of events, TSU was charged for a time out with only 0.2 seconds remaining. The Tigers’ inbound pass went directly out of bounds, giving the Bisons one last chance. Harrison grabbed the inbounds pass but could not get the shot in time to steal the win.
With the loss, the Bisons drop to 4-6 this season. They travel to Murray, Kentucky to face the Racers of Murray State Saturday afternoon.
That match will be broadcast live on the Bison.
Photo by Aggie Kopp