The Lipscomb women’s basketball team went into Saturday’s game against Stetson hoping to pick up its third conference win in four tries.
However, poor shooting and rebounding ultimately doomed Lipscomb’s hope of continuing their recent hot streak.
The Lady Bisons (6-13, 2-2 ASUN) shot just 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the field and gave up 22 offensive rebounds, allowing Stetson to take a 59-55 victory in Allen Arena.
“I thought we did a heck of a job defensively to hold them to 59 points,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. “The problem was they scored off the offensive rebounds. You can’t allow that to happen and expect to win.”
Stetson (12-8, 3-1 ASUN) held a slim 25-24 lead at halftime, and the game was knotted at 39 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Lady Bisons faltered down the stretch and were outscored 20-16 in the final quarter.
Lipscomb freshman guard Taylor Clark set a new career-high with 21 points, while also grabbing four rebounds and making several hustle plays to fight for loose balls.
“That’s her – she plays with great energy and effort, and she’ll only continue to get better,” Brown said.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the shooting woes of Lipscomb senior Loren Cagle. Fresh off a career performance of 31 points at North Florida on Monday, Cagle went just 1-of-15 from the field on Saturday, finishing with four points.
“Loren’s a heck of a player,” Brown said. “I’m not worried about her shooting, because she did a lot of other things well.”
Lipscomb largely neutralized Stetson’s high-powered offense as Brittney Chambers (19 points), McKenna Beach (14 points) and Michelle Pruitt (12 points) were the only Hatters to finish in double figures. Despite the strong defensive showing, the Lady Bisons were not satisfied with a close loss to the ASUN’s third-place team.
“I’m proud of our effort and fight,” Brown said. “I think, in times past, this would have been a moral victory. But our team is disappointed because they wanted to win today.”
Lipscomb was without two of its key players in senior forwards Loshaveon Jones and Riley Northway.
Brown said that Jones was out with an illness and will likely return to action on Monday when the Lady Bisons take on Florida Gulf Coast. Northway has not played since the St. Louis game on Dec. 17, but Brown said he hopes to have her return during the latter half of the conference season.
The Eagles (18-3, 4-0 ASUN) present the Lady Bisons with a tough challenge, as FGCU is currently riding an 8-game winning streak. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. in Nashville.
“They’re a top-30 team and the No. 1 mid-major, so we’ve got to be incredibly aggressive to have a chance,” Brown said.
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics