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12/29/2013 | Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena) | Attendance: 12046
Saturday, December 28, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – After getting a seven day break to spend the Christmas holidays with family and friends, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team returns to the court for its final nonconference game of the year on Sunday. The only downside, it’s on the road inside Thompson-Boling Arena against No. 5 Tennessee. Tip-off is slated for 1:05 CST.
Tennessee will be Lipscomb’s third Southeastern Conference opponent of the year and the second top-10 team. With a No. 5 ranking, Tennessee will be the highest ranked team the Lady Bisons have faced since becoming an NCAA Division I member.
The meeting in Knoxville will be the first-ever matchup between the two schools.
The matchup may hit closer to home for Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown, as he began his coaching career at UT under the helm of legendary Lady Vols coach, Pat Summit. In 2002-03 Brown served as a graduate assistant before being promoted to a full-time assistant the following year.
While in Knoxville, Brown was key cog in helping the Lady Vols win two SEC Championships and earning a pair of NCAA runner-up finishes.
When Brown first arrived at Lipscomb, his primary goal was to recruit players who could shoot the ball. Over the past month, his recruiting style has paid off. The Lady Bisons have scored 80-plus points in four of the past six games, while reaching 79 points in another. That is as many 80-point games as Lipscomb had in the previous five seasons combined.
Brown’s squad competed in the Wright State Invitational last week, losing to Bradley 87-85 before defeating Gardner-Webb 86-68 to improve to 3-10 on the year. The three wins on the year are as many as the Purple and Gold had all of last season.
After becoming eligible on Dec. 14, transfer Danay Fothergill has provided a spark the Lady Bisons desperately needed. She has scored 15 points or more in each of her four games for the Purple and Gold averaging 17 per game during that stretch.
Ashley Southern has paced Lipscomb all year long, averaging 16.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. She has four 20-plus point games on the year, two more than any other Lady Bison. Southern ranks sixth in the nation with eight double-doubles in only 10 games played. The only games she failed to reach double-double status were against nationally ranked SEC opponents, No. 7 Kentucky and No. 16 Georgia.
Chandler Cooper has become a 3-point threat every time she touches the ball, making 12 shots from beyond the arc in her last four games. She leads the Atlantic Sun with 2.8 made treys per game. Cooper is the fourth-leading scorer for the Lady Bisons, averaging 13.9 per contest.
Sara Bliss leads the A-Sun and ranks 17th nationally with a .903 free throw percentage, making 28-of-31 attempts. The Lady Bisons rank 41st nationally with 7.5 made 3-pointers per game. Bliss leads the team with 23 made.
Freshman point guard, Maya Dillard, has been hot of late dishing out a combined 19 assists in her last two games against Bradley and Gardner-Webb. She is first among A-Sun freshman and third overall with 4.4 assists per game. Dillard is also chipping in 7.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game.
Tennessee is coming off a 76-70 loss to No. 7 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. The Lady Vols (10-1) have an unblemished home record of 6-0, including wins over Georgia Tech and Texas.
Lipscomb and Tennessee have one common opponent on the year, Tennessee State. The Lady Bisons defeated the Lady Tigers 81-78, while Tennessee destroyed TSU 94-43.
Four Lady Vols average double figures, led by Meighan Simmons’s 13.7. Ariel Massengale and Bashaara Graves pour in 12.8 and 12 points respectively.
Nashville native, Isabelle Harrison adds 11.2 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounding at 8.5 per game.
The game will be broadcasted on UTSports.com and live stats will be provided. Follow the links with the story.