After losing to NJIT on Wednesday and clinching the No. 9 seed in the ASUN, the Lady Bisons fell to the North Alabama Lions on their senior night Saturday afternoon in Florence 71-50.
Lipscomb did not have much to play for Saturday, as clinching the ninth seed eliminated the Lady Bisons from the ASUN tournament next week. So, as has been this season’s story for the Bisons (3-24, 1,14 ASUN), they could not maintain their first half intensity and let a three-point game at halftime become an almost 30 point game once in the fourth quarter.
On the other hand, the Lions (19-6, 10-5 ASUN) had everything to play for as this game assured them one of the top four seeds in the ASUN and the opportunity to host at least one game in the tournament in their first season as a Division 1 school.
The game got off to a slow start as Lipscomb and UNA posted strong defensive performances in the first quarter but were unable to convert on the other end of the court. In this period, the two teams only posted a combined 22 points.
Last time these two schools met, it was junior guard Emma Wallen who provided the early spark for the Lions. But today it was a different sister out of the triplet trio — fellow junior guard Ivy Wallen — who was the early conductor for UNA’s offense and led the Lions in scoring in the first half.
For the Bisons, the scoring was evenly spread across the roster with all 10 players who entered the game posting at least two points; however, it was junior guard Carleigh Short who would lead all Lipscomb players with 11 points.
Lipscomb disrupted UNA’s play in the paint for much of the first half as the fourth leading ASUN scorer. UNA’s junior forward Brittany Panetti was held to only four points.
Entering the second half, the teams exchanged back-to-back field goals, flipping the first half script of slow starts. But Lipscomb was unable to keep up with the Lions’ pace for the rest of the half and allowed North Alabama to go on a series of scoring runs, giving the home team a double-digit lead for the entire fourth quarter.
One reason for the Lions’ resurgence in the second half was Panetti’s success. Unlike the first half, the Bisons were unable to keep her contained and allowed her to finish the day with 16 points to lead the Lions.
It was an all-around sloppy half for Lipscomb who finished with 24 fouls, 26 turnovers and two fouled-out players — sophomore guard Taylor Clark and freshman forward Kailey Rosenbaum. UNA was able to capitalize on these mistakes and score 32 points off of turnovers and 18 points from the free throw line. These costly errors gave the Bisons another loss in their road finale.
The Bisons will finish out the season on Tuesday night when they host Kennesaw State in Allen Arena at 6:30 p.m.
Photos by Mckenzi Harris
Read Spencer Boehme’s recap of the men’s game here.
Video by Erin Franklin