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Lady Bisons rally falls short against Belmont

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feb. 28, 2006

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Whenever Belmont and Lipscomb play, regardless of the sport or the standings, it is always an emotional event.

Tuesday night's women's version of the "Battle of the Boulevard" was no exception as the Lady Bisons fought back from several deficits before losing 72-64 Tuesday night Atlantic Sun-leading Belmont at Allen Arena. The game was also televised live on CSS.

"We did a lot of good things for about 35 minutes or so," said Lipscomb Coach Frank Bennett. "We had our lowest turnovers of the season. We out-rebounded them. But we got ourselves into a hole we couldn't dig out of."

The game started out close in the first eight minutes, but in the final minutes of the first half Belmont's Bruins started pulling away for the first time in the game.

"Both teams are pretty motivated no matter what the records are," said Bennett. "We were really into it. I think they were, too. That is what a rivalry is."

At 10:05 Belmont took a 10-point lead (19-9) on a 3-pointer by Jenny Conkle. The Lady Bisons would pull within five points at 20-15 with 7:02 on the clock on a pair of free throws from center Katie Beth Pate.

With 4:10 left before intermission the Lady Bisons cut the lead to three points at 24-21 on a 3-point shot by guard Karli Osborn. The Bruins pulled ahead by six, but a 3-point shot from Lipscomb forward Keirstin Head again cut Belmont's lead to three at 27-24 with 2:32 remaining.

Belmont went on a 14-5 run to close out the half, leading 41-32.

"We just didn't finish the half very well," said Bennett.

In the second half Belmont stayed in control in the opening minutes opening up the first of two 17-point leads at 7:14 at 59-42 on a pair of free throws from Alysha Clark.

The biggest lead for Belmont was 20 points, 62-42, at 6:23 on a 3-pointer by Conkle.

The Lady Bisons refused to go away, going on a 15-5 run in the final 3:57 of the game.

Pate led the Lady Bisons with 19 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Guard Dana Carrigan and forward Miriam McAlister each added 10 points.

"Katie Beth played like she is able to because she was feeling well," said Bennett. "She was working hard with the ball. Except for one little stretch she was really finishing well."

Clark shot a game-high 25 points and also added a game-high 17 rebounds for a double-double. Tonisha Jones scored 14 points followed by Conkle with 13 and Destri Bockey with 11.

"I thought we played Clark reasonably well a lot of the game, but she can hurt you in so many ways," said Bennett. "She is really strong and quick. She has skills with both hands."

The Lady Bisons shot 39.3 percent from the field. Belmont shot 44.6 percent.

The Lady Bisons are 6-20, 4-14 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 20-6, 16-3 in the conference.