On Tuesday night, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team fell to high-flying Florida Gulf Coast University 80-46 in Nashville.
The struggles for the Lady Bisons (3-23, 1-12 ASUN) began before either team took the court. Due to a severe power outage on Lipscomb’s campus, the game was moved from the Lady Bisons’ home court in Allen Arena to a couple miles up the road at Belmont’s Curb Event Center.
The Lady Bisons opened the game on a 5-0 run and held the advantage for much of the first quarter. In the first seven minutes, Lipscomb saw six different players record points.
When asked about this early momentum, Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said he was not surprised.
“It’s how we anticipated coming in,” Brown said. “We had good movement. I thought we mixed up our defense and took them out of rhythm, and we both played pretty well those first four or five minutes. It’s the ability to sustain.”
And he was right. Lipscomb was unable to sustain its tempo, and the lead was short-lived, as the Eagles (22-4, 13-0 ASUN) answered with a 27-point run spanning the first and second quarters. Lipscomb’s scoring drought lasted for over 11 minutes until junior guard Anna Hammaker finally found the basket with just under two minutes left before halftime.
Much of the Eagles’ success came from outside the arc, as they finished the night with 49 attempts from three-point range, surpassing Lipscomb’s total field goal attempts. FGCU converted on 15 of these attempts, led by junior forward Nasrin Ulel’s five threes.
“There’s nothing they do that’s tricky,” Brown said. “They just cut really hard. They just shoot the basketball and make open shots. It makes you be intense every possession, and that’s what you’re trying to get to, is maintaining that intensity every possession.”
The Lady Bisons were unable to match their first-quarter intensity, and the Eagles continued to dominate with their firepower.
While the Lady Bisons trailed by as much as 38 points, they never quit, competing even late in the fourth quarter. This late gameplay will help prepare the Lady Bisons as they look forward to their final three regular season games, where they will vie for the final seed in the ASUN tournament.
This seeding is crucial, as there will be one team that does not make the eight-team ASUN basketball tournament. Brown’s message to his players?
“Take the things we did well and know that FGCU is one of the top teams, not only in the league, but in the country. If you can do that and sustain it and take it into the last three games and use those things, you know and write whatever story you want to write to finish out right here.”
The Lady Bisons will attempt to write themselves into the tournament when they host the NJIT Highlanders on Wednesday, Feb. 27 in Allen Arena at 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Lipscomb Athletics