ETSU does clinch A-Sun Championship six seed following Kennesaw State’s loss Thursday at Jacksonville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 6, 2014) – A three-pointer from Lipscomb’s Sara Bliss with 15 seconds remaining - giving the Lady Bisons a 74-72 lead – proved to be the dagger as the ETSU’s women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 76-74 decision Thursday evening inside Allen Arena.
With the loss, ETSU drops to 9-19 overall and 5-12 in the Atlantic Sun; while Lipscomb improves to 6-22 on the season and 3-14 in league play.
After playing in a highly-competitive matchup earlier this season, the two teams started out the contest on Thursday in similar fashion with back-and-forth action. Following trailing throughout the first five minutes of the opening period, the Bucs went on a 19-7 run from the 14:36 to 6:09 marks to gain their largest lead of the game, 33-19. Over the final five minutes of the first half, the Lady Bisons battled back to whittle ETSU’s advantage down to seven points, 41-34, going into halftime.
An initial basket to begin the second half increased the Blue & Gold’s advantage to nine, but LU answered with a 9-0 run to tie the ballgame at 45 with 16:06 to play. Over the duration of the contest, the two squads traded baskets which helped foreshadow a game that was going to come down to the wire. A basket by Tiana Burley (Camilla, Ga.) pulled the Bucs ahead, 72-71, with 37 seconds to go. Off of an offensive set, Lipscomb’s Sara Bliss nailed a trifecta with 15 seconds left to give the Lady Bisons a 74-72 advantage. LU then rebounded a missed jumper by Shawn Randall (Orlando, Fla.) with four seconds to go and then made two free throws on the other end to seal the game, 76-74.
Lipscomb featured four players in double-figures; led by a game-high 27 points from Ashley Southern. ETSU had five players with double-digit scoring performances which is the first time since Dec. 18 versus Indiana State. Serena Clark (Stone Mountain, Ga.) led the Blue & Gold with 13 points, while Burley, Randall and Chandler Christopher (Greeneville, Tenn.) each added 12 points. Maria Bond (Macon, Ga.) contributed 10 points in the loss.
The Lady Bisons turned ETSU over 20 times, resulting in 22 points, and shot an overall 41 percent from the field. LU’s seven second half three-pointers really hurt the Bucs as well as its 20-of-25 makes from the free-throw line.
For the second-straight game, ETSU shot over 50 percent from the floor, and also converted an efficient 50 percent (7-of-14) from behind the arc. The Bucs also dominated the Lady Bisons on the boards, 43-24, and translated 17 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. In addition, the Blue & Gold exerted its will in the paint with 42 points and got 22 points from its bench.
With Kennesaw State's loss Thursday to Jacksonville, ETSU clinches a six seed in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship. Its future opponent, the three seed, is still to be determined.
The Bucs will face the Northern Kentucky Norse in each teams’ final regular season contest of the year on Saturday, March 8, at 1 p.m. inside the Bank of Kentucky Center.
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