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Lady Bisons dig too many holes against North Florida

Monday, February 11, 2008

Feb. 11, 2008

Final Stats

The Lady Bisons are out to overcome the three Ds of basketball _ discouragement, doubt and disbelief.

That's the job facing coach Frank Bennett as his team hits the road for three Atlantic Sun games after losing 63-51 to North Florida Monday night at Allen Arena.

"We have to be a little more consistent," Bennett said. "Offensively, we have to finish our shots around the basket. We have good shooters who have to make their shots.

"We are not too far away from being a good team. We have to fight discouragement, doubt and disbelief. Building confidence is a battle for us right now."

The game was "Think Pink" night with the Lady Bisons players wearing pink shirts during pre-game warm-ups and many in the crowd of 1,396 wearing pink as well. There were a number of giveaways for students ranging from free movie tickets to free textbooks for a semester.

North Florida led 21-11 with 8:47 left in the first half, their first double figure advantage of the game. North Florida extended the lead to 12 points (25-13) with 5:34 to play before intermission.

But at the 4:52 mark the Lady Bisons started a comeback. They outscored North Florida 14-3 starting with a pair of free throws by junior forward Rachel Davis.

Senior guard Dana Carrigan added a lay-up, senior point guard Catie Woods connected on a 3-pointer and junior center Katie Rollins tossed in a lay-up during the scoring run for the Lady Bisons.

Freshman guard Jenna Bartsokas scored the final six points of the first half for Lipscomb with two free throws, a lay-up and a jump shot in the final 1:01 to tie the game at 28-28 at the half.

"That was a really great comeback," Bennett said. "We put ourselves in good position. We had some momentum. I thought we were in good shape coming out.

"Our intensity was not good. We just could not finish under the basket or make a 3-point shot. We usually play pretty hard. We just have to play with a little more confidence when we shoot the ball."

In the second half the Lady Bisons led 30-29 on a jump shot from Jilian Partin with 18:53 left to play in the game.

It was the last time the Lady Bisons would have the scoring advantage, but they didn't give up.

A jump shot by Rollins pulled the Lady Bisons to within two points of the lead (46-44) with 7:18 to go.

The Lady Bisons stayed within striking distance until the final 1:55 when they were outscored 6-1`to close out the win. The biggest scoring advantage for North Florida was the 12-point difference in the final score.

North Florida shot 50 percent from the floor with guard Jennifer Bowen leading the way with a game-high 17 points. Center Shennette Sheffield scored 11 points for the winners.

"They are a very physical and very athletic team," said Bennett. "In both halves we let them do what they wanted to do on offense to start each half.

"They were getting good shots. We weren't pressuring the ball. It is hard to keep on coming out of holes and expending so much energy."

The Lady Bisons were led by Partin with a team-high 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Bartsokas added 10 points as Lipscomb shot 33.9 percent (19-of-56).

"I think anybody who knows basketball loves the way Jilian plays," Bennett said. "She plays all out. It is all effort.

"I think of her as the Kyle Vanden Bosch (Tennessee Titans defensive end) of the Lady Bisons. "She gives all out effort each possession and finds some way to get the rebound and the second shot."

North Florida held a 37-29 edge on the boards.

The Lady Bisons are 6-19 overall, 4-7 in the conference. North Florida is 11-12, 6-5 in the A-Sun.