For the first time this season, Lipscomb’s women’s basketball team was able to dress its entire team. But the return of redshirt sophomore forward Emily Kmec and freshman guard/forward Taylor Hammack did not prove to be enough to defeat the Stetson Hatters.
Saturday’s 65-80 loss moved the Lady Bisons to a 2-14 record, while Stetson improved to 7-9. Lipscomb has now lost 13 straight games.
Leading Stetson to the win was junior guard Addi Walters, who shot 7-of-12 from behind the arc and totaled a season-high 25 points. When asked how he was going to address this defensive lapse moving forward, Lipscomb coach Coach Greg Brown said that his focus is on “awareness and communication.”
“We just didn’t communicate very well. There was nothing [offensively] where they would get us in a bind. We just weren’t aware out there to take care of those things.”
Offensively, the Lady Bisons’ leading scorer, sophomore guard Taylor Clark, was able to contribute only six points. She got into foul trouble early, which limited her playing time.
Despite these mistakes, there were a number of bright spots for Lipscomb, including freshman guard Jane Deason, who led the Lady Bisons with twenty points. Although this was a career high, her performance was no surprise to her coaches who have time and time again observed her work ethic.
“Jane just continues to play hard,” Brown said. “Like all freshmen there is a learning curve, but she listens. She was one of the last ones to leave here last night. After practice she was playing some pickup, and then she turned around and was on the gun shooting. It’s things like that that will pay off over a long period of time for her.”
But the biggest storyline for Lipscomb is that the team is finally healthy. Because of the impact that Kmec and Hammack have on this team, the coaches are very optimistic moving forward. Even today, Brown could already see improvement because of their return.
“We moved the ball a lot better. Obviously, Kmec being back on the floor is huge: nine rebounds right there.”
While Kmec and Hammack were able to make an immediate impact, their play tonight was limited since they were only able to practice with their teammates for less than a week prior to the game. Being able to fully utilize their skill sets will take time, but their return is a breath of fresh air for the team.
Looking forward, the coaching staff’s message to the team is to remember that it is still early in ASUN conference play.
“These three games are not going to win you a championship or cost you a championship,” Brown said. “Now, we got to continue to grow and do things right, and then it will give us an opportunity.”
The Lady Bisons take on the NJIT Highlanders on Tuesday in Newark 10:30 AM CT.
Photo by Lipscomb Athletics