SEASON PREVIEW: Lipscomb men’s basketball set to open 2017-18 campaign

SEASON PREVIEW: Lipscomb men’s basketball set to open 2017-18 campaign

There are plenty of reasons to believe that this could be the year for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team to make its first-ever NCAA tournament. However, a tough schedule, multiple injuries and Florida Gulf Coast stand in the way of the Bisons’ dream of an ASUN title. Those obstacles aren’t keeping coach Casey Alexander from being excited to start the season this Friday against Emory University. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. at Allen Arena. “It’s about having the mentality of trying to get better every day, rather than looking at the big picture,” Alexander said. “We’re looking at what’s right in front of us and our guys have had a great mentality this offseason.” Six storylines to watch this season: How can Lipscomb navigate its tough schedule? The Bisons scheduled a challenging non-conference slate that includes the likes of Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Purdue and Navy. Last December, Lipscomb upset Missouri on the road by beating the Tigers 81-76 and also played a tight game with Tennessee – a 92-77 loss in Knoxville. “We’ll go into each of those preparing and expecting to win,” Alexander said. “We saw last year at Missouri that we can win those kinds of games. The most important thing is to be who we are, no matter who we are playing.” When will point guards get healthy? Senior guard Nathan Moran and sophomore guard Kenny Cooper will both miss Friday’s season opener. Moran is still recovering from offseason surgery, while Cooper suffered a lower-leg injury during preseason practice. It’s unclear when either player will be healthy, but Alexander said Cooper could return to the...
Lipscomb Women’s Basketball kicks off 2017-2018 season

Lipscomb Women’s Basketball kicks off 2017-2018 season

The Lipscomb women’s basketball team hasn’t had a winning record since the 2003-04 season, when the Bisons went 20-12 and advanced to the NCAA tournament. That isn’t keeping sixth-year head coach Greg Brown from pointing out the positives – even if his team went 6-24 last year. Lipscomb had 10 new players on its roster in 2016-17, including six true freshmen and four transfers. “You go from 10 newcomers last year and having to introduce everything, but now they know what’s going on,” Brown said. “It makes things easier and the players know what to expect as far as travel and game preparation go.” This year’s roster features seven seniors and a wealth of experience. Brown hopes that will help the Bisons improve, despite being picked to finish last in the ASUN. “We have to do three simple things defensively: keep the ball out of the paint, contest shots and block out,” Brown said of the team’s keys to success. “I feel good about our shooting, so we just need to take care of the ball and get some [defensive] stops.” Five things to watch this season: Coaching staff shakeup Lipscomb overhauled its coaching staff with the additions of new assistants in Hannah Phillips and Aaron Holland. Phillips played for the Bisons from 2009-13 and briefly played professionally in Australia following her collegiate career. Holland was the head coach at Motlow State Community College before joining the Lipscomb staff this offseason. “We’ve had more energy and the players have enjoyed having [the new coaches],” Brown said. “Both coaches bring tons of energy to what we’re doing and we needed that.” New...
Men’s soccer trumps FGCU, heads to ASUN Championship

Men’s soccer trumps FGCU, heads to ASUN Championship

The Lipscomb Men’s soccer team has not seen an ASUN Final since 2010, but they ended this spell after defeating the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles this afternoon, 2-1. Just eighteen seconds into the game, senior Ivan Sakou sailed a seemingly harmless shot through the FGCU keeper’s legs into the back of the net. During the 28th minute, FGCU’s Dennis Zapata evened the score with a cross into the back of the net. The Eagles, attempting to take the lead, sent four more shots towards junior keeper Christopher Zappia during the remainder of the half. At the halftime break, the Bisons and Eagles still remained tied 1-1, but the Eagles led in shots 7-4 and shots on goal 3-1. With twenty minutes remaining in the half, junior Logan Paynter received the ball off of sophomore defender Austin Eager’s foot, before heading it into the right corner of the net, leading the game 2-1. The Eagles refused to give up without a battle and continued firing shots on the Bisons. However, when the buzzer sounded, the Lipscomb Bisons were the champions of the 2017 ASUN Semifinals. This victory is the first time Lipscomb has defeated FGCU since the 2007-2008 season, and the first ever triumph in the ASUN tournament. The Bisons will play at No. 5 seed Jacksonville for the ASUN title on Saturday, November 11 at 7 p.m. Photo courtesy of Lipscomb...
Women’s soccer suffers heartbreaking OT loss in ASUN final

Women’s soccer suffers heartbreaking OT loss in ASUN final

For the first half of Sunday’s ASUN final, the Lipscomb women’s soccer team was within arm’s reach of its first-ever conference title. Florida Gulf Coast was not having any part of it. The Eagles recovered from a 2-0 deficit with two second-half tallies and a double-overtime goal to top the Bisons, 3-2, at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. With the victory, FGCU took its fourth-consecutive ASUN championship and clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament. “We had a really difficult semifinal that drained us – probably more than FGCU’s semifinal drained them,” Lipscomb coach Kevin O’Brien said. “We kind of ran out of gas. We didn’t have the legs we needed to push through it.” FGCU downed Lipscomb in both the 2015 and 2016 title games, and ultimately had the Bisons’ number once again this year, as Varin Ness scored a breakaway goal to lift the Eagles in sudden-death overtime. “To lose the conference final in Golden Goal…these girls are going to be hurting,” O’Brien said. “But I tell them each and every week that their identity isn’t found in soccer.” With 19 minutes left in the first half, Lipscomb went up 1-0 when Hannah Torbett rocketed a shot off the post and into the back of the net. The tally – Torbett’s first of the season – came from nearly 25 yards out. 12 minutes later, Lipscomb’s Ellen Lundy made it 2-0 with her eighth goal of the season. The score came off a cross from Olivia Doak that was headed to Lundy by Arielle Hansford. FGCU’s Holly Fritz and Camille Knudstrup each tallied second-half goals to knot the...
TITLE BOUND: Bailey lifts women’s soccer to win over Kennesaw, rematch with FGCU

TITLE BOUND: Bailey lifts women’s soccer to win over Kennesaw, rematch with FGCU

For the third consecutive year, the Lipscomb women’s soccer team will play Florida Gulf Coast for the ASUN title. Unlike the previous two meetings, the 2017 edition of the championship game will be played in Nashville. The Bisons used an early goal from Justis Bailey to defeat Kennesaw State 1-0 at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Friday, setting up a chance for revenge against the Eagles on Sunday. “It was a competitive tournament game,” Lipscomb coach Kevin O’Brien said. “You could feel the tension, the emotion and the passion – it was all on display. It was incredible.” Bailey’s goal came in the 11th minute, when the junior defender received a pass from Natalie Duboise and headed the ball into the top right corner of the net. The tally was Bailey’s first of her career. “I’ll be honest with you – I’m completely shocked that’s her first one,” O’Brien said of Bailey’s goal. “She’s very good in the air and (the goal) came at the perfect time. She’s been a great player for us this year, and she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.” Lipscomb had numerous scoring chances in the second half but was unable to cash in on any of its opportunities for an insurance goal. Senior Ellen Lundy opened the second half with a header off the post, and later sophomore Jordan Walsh sent a shot just over the crossbar. Lipscomb forward Olivia Doak found the back of the net with 20 minutes remaining, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul. “A second goal could have taken the steam out of the game, but we weren’t able...
Lundy honored as ASUN Player of the Year

Lundy honored as ASUN Player of the Year

Many college students consider themselves lucky to simply graduate in four years with their sanity intact, let alone receive an award for the first time in school history. First-year graduate student Ellen Lundy was awarded ASUN Player of the Year Wednesday. Lundy has also been recognized as a scholar athlete and a member of the All-Conference First Team in addition to being ASUN Player of the Year. Other notable mentions for ASUN Women’s Soccer awards this season include seniors Jade Abarca and Niamh Rawlins on the All-Conference First Team, sophomore Olivia Doak and junior Justis Bailey on the All-Conference Second Team and Coach Kevin O’Brien as ASUN Coach of the Year. Lundy mentioned that she was really shocked to learn the news because she views the team as doing more work than she does and because she thought that there were more deserving girls in the conference. While Lundy was surprised by the news of the award, O’Brien was not shocked to learn that ASUN unanimously selected her as the recipient. “She scored some pivotal goals for us this year, and a lot of those have come in conference, so the impression she has left on the other head coaches is that she is a gamer, and she is really important to our success,” O’Brien said. Receiving an award of this honor typically comes with pressure to uphold the image that has been placed on the individual. However, Lundy has chosen not to feel the pressure, but instead embrace her original goals for the season. “I didn’t start this season thinking, ‘My goal is to win ASUN Player of the Year.’ I started the season...