The 2021-22 season is just days away for the Lipscomb basketball programs. The women’s team, led by third-year head coach Lauren Sumski, is coming off a winning season for the first time since 2004.
The Bisons finished 12-10 during the shortened 2020-21 season, including a perfect 10-0 record at home. The 2021-22 slate carries 29 games and will serve as an opportunity for the team to prove they are ready to take the next step. Sumski has spearheaded the shift in team culture and plans to continue to equip her players to accept the challenge.
“Things have changed,” Sumski said. “We are now operating under a level of expectation. We’re expected to maintain our competitiveness and improve upon it. This is the most mature we have ever been since I’ve been on board.”
The Bisons will have the benefit of returning the vast majority of their team. Taylor Clark and Lindsey Whiteside were the only seniors on last year’s squad.
Key contributors like sophomore guard Casey Collier, sophomore guard Jalyn Holcomb, and junior center Dorie Harrison are all back and will be looked at as the leaders of the team.
“What excites me most is that they have all made tremendous improvements with their IQ and overall leadership.” Sumski said. “More than anything, these three players understand their role and are executing it more consistently.”
While Collier and Holcomb are a tandem of shifty guards that can score at the rim and outside, Harrison is counted on to defend the paint and secure rebounds for the team. The Bisons are their most lethal when they are all contributing at a high level.
“For us, we’re definitely some of the veterans and have gone through the trenches for sure.” Harrison said. “We know what it takes. When we’re in sync and have our chemistry going, no one can stop us.
“Any five players on the floor will need to be locked in and connected for us to be successful,” Harrison said.
Harrison struggled with injuries in the early going of her stint here with Lipscomb, only playing in six games in her sophomore season and not being available early last season. As the 2020-21 season progressed, Harrison found more success, culminating with her being named to the ASUN All-Tournament team.
“I never realized how privileged I am and fortunate to play the game of basketball.” Harrison said. “It’s an opportunity to compete and to grow. It’s such a good feeling looking back and being able to say, ‘man, I’ve really gotten better’”.
The Bisons will start the season with a pair of games in Utah. The season opener is 5 pm central Tuesday at BYU, and the following day, the team will face Pac-12 opponent Utah at 8 pm central. The rest of
the season features 11 more nonconference games and 16 conference games.
Lipscomb opens their home slate November 16 against Shorter, a match that will be broadcast live on The Bison, Lipscomb’s on-campus radio station.
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics