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Upstate (16-13, 11-7 ASun)
Lipscomb (6-23, 3-15 ASun)
3/8/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 234
Saturday, March 08, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A first half stall from the Lipscomb women’s basketball team proved costly as USC Upstate cruised to a 91-71 Atlantic Sun Conference victory Saturday afternoon inside Allen Arena.
“We played well the first 14 minutes,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “But throughout the rest of the game, we did not match their physicalness or their intensity. With our size and depth, we can’t afford to do that.”
After senior Jess Reece put the Lady Bisons on top 2-0 with a jumper from the right baseline, Lipscomb extended its lead to seven after Chandler Cooper’s free throw made it 26-19 at 9:17 in the first half.
With the Purple and Gold holding a slight edge at 39-34, freshman point guard Maya Dillard, who ranks fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio, coughed it up on three-consecutive trips to help aid an Upstate 15-2 run to close the half and take a 49-41 lead over the Lady Bisons.
The second half started the same way the first ended.
The Spartans quickly expanded the lead to double-digits, much in part to the effort of Brittany Starling. She was a beast in the paint, scoring 15 points and grabbing 16 boards.
Lipscomb could never gain any momentum, as Upstate pushed its lead to 22 after a pair of free throw makes from Shelby Hicks.
Danay Fothergill, the A-Sun’s leading scorer, had a game-high 21 points for the Lady Bisons. She converted on 11 free throws.
As a team, Lipscomb got to the line 39 times, making just 25.
” When we play well, it has been because we’ve been able to stay out of foul trouble,” Brown said. “Today we didn’t do that. Also, we can’t miss 14 free throws. We did a good job of getting to the line, but couldn’t knock them down.”
Ashley Southern was the only other double-digit scorer for Lipscomb, collecting her 21st double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Ashley had a great game,” Brown said. “When she has that intensity, good things are going to happen. Ashley will have a great career and especially for what we ask her to do. She is the only true scorer we have on the inside.”
The stat of the game was how the Spartans dominated the boards, grabbing 55 rebounds including 20 on the offensive end.
Sharmayne Edwards led Upstate with 16 points with four made threes.
The loss dropped Lipscomb to 6-23 overall and 3-15 in league play. Upstate improved to 16-13, 11-7 A-Sun.
Lipscomb must now turn its attention to Florida Gulf Coast, who defeated Stetson in overtime today to grab the top seed in the A-Sun Championship.
The Lady Bisons will tip off the first round of the conference tournament at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday March 11 in Fort Myers, Fla. inside Alico Arena.