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Thursday, November 11, 2010The first game of the season is traditionally filled with some mystery and surprises, but this could be especially true for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.
They open the season Friday afternoon at 2 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., at Clune Arena. This is first time the two teams have played each other in women’s basketball.
Air Force was 3-27 last season. They have a new coach, Andrea Williams, and 13 freshmen. It is the regular season opener for both teams. They do return senior Raimee Beck, the leader last season in both points and rebounds. She is one of two starters returning from last season.
“We’re a little sketchy on their personnel, but it looks like the best we can tell that we will match up pretty well,” Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett said. “We feel like we will be competitive.”
Bennett and the Lady Bisons are familiar to Williams. She served as an assistant with Jacksonville University from 2004-2008. Two of her assistant coaches, Courtney Robinson and Yolisha Jackson, also were formerly assistants in the A-Sun.
Both teams played one exhibition game. Air Force beat Metro State 58-53. The Lady Bisons prevailed 72-67 against Harding University.
Bennett, starting his 31st year as head coach, knows that the Falcons will be trying to “press and push” most of the game.
“Air Force is fairly unknown, but they say on their website that they will be pressing and pushing the ball,” Bennett said. “We have been working a little bit on our press breakers and have tried to shore up some general things with our team defensive fundamentals along with the execution of our offense.”
The keys to the game for the Lady Bisons are to be quick and decisive on both ends of the court, control.
“I think we will like to play a fast-paced type of game,” Bennett said. “We are going to have to handle Air Force’s press but that can open up opportunities for us offensively.
“We don’t know what type of press it will be right now. We are playing a little bit blind on that.”
The Lady Bisons will be led by senior guard Jenna Bartsokas, who averaged 12.8 points per game last season and is a preseason Atlantic Sun All-Conference selection.
Bennett thinks his team is excited about starting the season.
“I think our players are excited to be starting the season,” Bennett said. “I think our players are looking forward to a good trip. I think it will be a positive.”
Written by Marl McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.