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Lady Bisons stressing shot selection as they head to ETSU

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons haven’t had much success against ETSU, but coach Frank Bennett doesn’t dwell on the past with his team.

ETSU, starting a five-game home stand Saturday afternoon at 12:30 at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center in Johnson City, is 11-1 overall against the Lady Bisons. All 11 wins were by a margin of 11 points or more.

The only victory for the Lady Bisons in the series is a 57-52 decision Feb. 3, 2007 in Allen Arena.

ETSU enters the game with an 8-9 record overall, 5-3 in the conference. The Lady Bisons are 7-10, 4-4 in the A-Sun.

“ETSU has been in the top three the last couple of years,” Bennett said. “They are always a challenge to play, but they are a different team this season.”

The game will feature four of the top 10 scorers in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU’s Tara Davis is second overall with 16.8 points, Lipscomb’s Jenna Bartsokas is fifth with 15.3, ETSU’s Destiny Mitchell is sixth with 14.4 and Lipscomb’s Anna Bowers Is seventh with 14.1.

Davis, a point guard, is averaging 25.3 points in her last three games.

ETSU’s Natalie Pickwell is a top 3-point shooting threat, ranked fourth in the A-Sun with 2.35 per game. She is averaging 11.8 points per game.

Bowers is second in the conference, and 12th nationally in the NCAA, in 3-point shots made with an average of three per game.

Mitchell is fourth best in the A-Sun in rebounds with 8.9. Teammate Latisha Belcher is eighth with 6.8.

Brittany Duerk leads the Lady Bisons in rebounding with 5.8 per game.

“Our practices went pretty well this week,” Bennett said. “I thought we had better intensity.

“We played five-minute games and then specialized on certain areas in segments. The losers of the games or the segment work had to run sprints or do push-ups.”

One area the Lady Bisons have been working on is their shot selections. Several players have made contributions offensively from game-to-game, but only Bartsokas and Bowers have shown any kind of consistency.

Bennett has thought that his team often relies too much on 3-point shots instead of driving the lane for lay-ups or short jump shots.

“We have to do a better job of shot selection,” Bennett said. “We charted shots in practice Wednesday with numbers given to each play from a turnover to a poor shot, a fair shot or an open shot to determine our offensive efficiency.

“The totals were pretty good. We were being more selective on our shots in practice. I think that is a good sign.”

The Lady Bisons will close out the road trip Monday at USC Upstate. The game will be televised regionally on CSS.

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.