Seven Lady Bisons played in their last regular-season college basketball game on Saturday evening.
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons (11-18, 7-7 ASUN) grabbed a Senior-Night victory over the Kennesaw State Owls (7-18, 3-11) by a score of 69-52.
“I told them I hadn’t been breathing for about 18 hours,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said of the seniors. “There’s so much emotion in it, especially with that many seniors.”
Senior guard Loren Cagle led Lipscomb with 16 points, going 5-of-16 on field goals and 3-of-8 on free throws. She also added a team-best six rebounds and four assists. Cagle is a longtime Lipscomb student dating back to her Lipscomb Academy days as a fifth-grader.
“It’s been awesome to have this career here,” Cagle said, “and for [my coaches] to help me along the way.”
The Lady Bisons had already sealed a home game for the postseason, but they utilized the same intensity they’ve had all year long. Lipscomb shot more efficiently than Kennesaw State (41.9 percent to 32.2 percent), and the Owls never led nor tied.
Lipscomb took a 19-4 lead with 2:13 to go in the first period. During that time, redshirt freshman forward Emily Kmec converted on two three-pointers, including the first basket of the game.
The Owls then broke a 10-point Lady Bisons run with a 16-5 effort, which included 10 unanswered points, to put the score at 24-20 with 4:10 left in the second period. They brought the score to 25-23 with 2:44 left, but Lipscomb went on a 7-2 run to finish the half leading 32-25.
In the second half, Kennesaw State pulled the scoring margin to two points twice, including 34-32 with 6:28 left in the third period. But Lipscomb began pulling away after that, and they outscored Kennesaw State 35-20 the rest of the way.
One of the most heartwarming moments of the game occured at the 1:30 mark in the fourth period.
With the Lady Bisons up 64-49, they took a timeout and decided to give the floor to seniors only. For the next 78 seconds, all six of their active seniors saw playing time. Senior guard Meredith Lovelady scored a three-pointer and two free throws before Lipscomb subbed their seniors back out.
For the Owls, freshman forward Alexis Poole shot 7-of-11 on field goals and and 5-of-9 on free throws in a team-high 19-point performance. Sophomore forward Carlotta Gianolla led with 12 rebounds.
Lipscomb Athletics reported after the game that No. 5 USC Upstate is coming to face No. 4 Lipscomb for the first ASUN tournament game March 2nd, which is this upcoming Friday.
“People say treat it like another game,” Brown said. “But they’re not stupid. It’s not another game. It is a tournament game.”
Lipscomb will be graduating the following players:
Loshaveon Jones, forward
Kennedy Potts, guard
Meredith Lovelady, guard
Auriana Broughton, guard
Loren Cagle, guard
Laure Assena, forward
Riley Northway, forward
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics