Such was the case for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons Tuesday night in their home opener against Tennessee Tech at Allen Arena. In the first ever meeting between the two schools in women’s basketball Tennessee Tech prevailed 72-55.
Many of the early missed shots were under the basket jumper and layups. The misses were a confidence-breaker for the Lady Bisons and a confidence-boost for Tennessee Tech.
Tennessee Tech put the first point on the board when center Vivian Nwosu hit the first of two free throw attempts. The Lady Bisons never were able to get the lead despite giving a full effort until the final buzzer.
For the game the Lady Bisons shot 32.8 percent from the field, hitting 19-of-56 shots. From the 3-point line the Lady Bisons hit only two-of-12 attempts, a 16.7 success percentage.
“I thought we were playing hard and doing some good things,” said Lady Bisons coach Frank Bennett. “One thing that stands out is we weren’t finishing around the basket. We missed way too many post shots and drives.
“Making the percentage of those shots that you ought to hit can make the difference in the game. It is stuff we work on almost every day that we need to do consistently. Finishing shots is a huge part of it. It is not just one player. It is a breakdown of one here to two there.”
Sophomore guard Jenna Bartsokas led the Lady Bisons with a career-high and a game-high 20 points, hitting eight-of-17 shots from the field and making both of the Lady Bisons 3-point shots.
“She is always a great defensive player,” said Bennett. “She had six steals.
“She hit a couple of threes. She was going to the basket very well and getting to the foul line some. She is a very good player and she is going to get better.”
Forward Miriam McAlister, who has seen limited playing time the past two seasons, is quickly rediscovering her game. She was two-of-two from the floor and hit all six of her free throw attempts for 10 points overall.
“Miriam did some good things,” said Bennett. “We can see her progressing. She has some little things she needs to do to be playing very well.” Forwards Jilian Partin and Cree Nix each had five rebounds to lead the Lady Bisons.
Tennessee Tech placed players in double figure. Guard Blair Bowens led the team with 15 points. Krystal Stirrup had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Forward Jasmine White and Nwosu each scored 10 points.
“We let them get into a running game far too much,” said Bennett. “We have to do a better job of containing that and making teams play half court. “Tennessee Tech was a plus-11 in rebounding. We can’t afford to give up that many second shots and rebound opportunities.
“We are going to work harder Wednesday than we would in a typical week,” said Bennett. “We just need to do some of these fundamental things. We will hold them accountable when they aren’t doing them.”
The Lady Bisons, 0-2, will play host to Tennessee-Martin Thursday night. It will be the third straight game against a foe from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Lady Bisons have four OVC teams on the schedule.
Tennessee Tech evened its record at 1-1.