Thursday, November 17, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When the going gets tough, the Lipscomb Lady Bisons basketball team has to find a way to get going.
Tennessee State, leading 29-25 at the half, outscored the Lady Bisons 28-14 in the first 10 minutes of the second half on the way to an 80-54 win Thursday night at the Gentry Center.
“We have to be tougher mentally and physically,” Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett said. “This team, so far, is having a hard time refocusing when things aren’t going well.
“That has to be a real key for us. We have to stop the mini-runs. We have to be solid and we have to execute. We can’t give in to what is going on. We have to come together as a team when those situations occur.”
The Lady Bisons needed almost three minutes to score their first basket as wing Morgan Faulkner sank a 3-pointer to give the Lady Bisons a 3-2 lead. That shot set the tone offensively in the first 20 minutes as wing Hanna Phillips, center Chelsea McMeans and guard Anna Bowers each connected for 3-pointers.
“We had a strong first half,” Bennett said. “We got some good looks and we were moving the ball well. We kind of got into a funk the last three or four minutes.
“We got the first basket in the second half and we were looking good. But we were supposed to have two players back on a shot. We weren’t getting two players back and we were creating fast break opportunities for TSU.”
Turnovers were also an issue. The Lady Bisons made 25 and TSU turned those miscues into 27 points. TSU stole the ball 13 times. TSU turned the ball over 12 times.
“It’s my fault that I don’t have them prepared to face pressure and to execute what they are supposed to do in spite of what is going on in the game,” Bennett said. “We have to keep our heads.
“The mental side is a big thing for us. When things are going bad we would like to have players on the court pulling each other together quickly with some words of encouragement. We are letting mistakes get to us individually and we can’t do that.”
Phillips was one of the few bright spots for the Lady Bisons. She was 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line to lead the Lady Bisons with 15 points. Bowers added 13 points, hitting 5-of-12 from the field including a pair of 3-pointers.
“Hannah played very hard,” Bennett said. “She played very aggressively. She secured a lot of balls in traffic. She gave us a lot of energy.”
Guard Rachel Allen scored a game-high 18 points for TSU. Guard Jasmin Smith added 17.
The Lady Bisons shot 34 percent from the field while TSU shot 39 percent.
Lipscomb center Brittany Duerk grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Forward Chelsea Hudson paced TSU with seven. The Lady Tigers held a 49-41 rebounding advantage over the Lady Bisons, scoring 19 points on second-chance shots.
The Lady Bisons, 0-3, are back on the road Saturday at 5 p.m. at Alabama A &M. TSU, from the Ohio Valley Conference, is 1-2.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Writer/Director of Media Relations.