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Lipscomb defeats TSU 81-78. Chandler Cooper scores 11

by Logan Butts-Lipscomb Sports

[1]Nashville, TN – In a matchup a few miles from Allen Arena, the Lipscomb Lady Bisons topped the Tennessee State Lady Tigers 81-78 in overtime on Tuesday night at the Gentry Center in Nashville.

It was a tale of two halves for Lipscomb. TSU’s fast-paced offense and in-your-face defense proved to be too much for the Lady Bisons in the first half. But Lipscomb came out strong in the second half, quickly erasing a 7-point halftime deficit to take the lead.


Chandler Cooper drives to the basket for Lipscomb(Mateen Sidiq Nashville Sports Network)

“We told them you have to limit their transition and limit them to one shot,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “I thought we did a better job in the second half of attacking, obviously getting on the boards ourselves, slowing down, settling down. We played like a young team at times. The best thing was that they fought through stuff. They managed to go through and fight and finish the game.”

Turnovers plagued both teams on the night. The Lady Bisons committed 20 turnovers, thanks to TSU’s stifling full-court press, while the Lady Tigers committed 17 turnovers.

“We had seen them on tape and expected it,” Brown said. “They’re aggressive and long and athletic. I thought we did a pretty decent job of handling it. We did silly stuff at times, but again that goes back to being a little immature, a little young.”

The Lady Bisons cut the lead to two at 39-37 thanks to a big 3-pointer from Faith LeGate with 15:48 left in the second half.

A basket from Lipscomb’s Maya Dillard tied the game at 39 with 14:11 to play. Ashley Southern followed with a layup to give the Lady Bisons a 41-39 lead with 13:30 remaining, the first lead of the game.

Sara Bliss then drained two clutch free throws with at the 2:18 mark, putting the Bisons on top 65-62.

A game-tying 3-pointer by TSU’s Rachel Allen was waived off after a timeout was called by the Lady Tigers’ head coach Larry Joe Inman. However, Allen managed to hit a 3-pointer coming out of the timeout, tying the game at 69 with 21.5 seconds to play.

After both teams fumbled away opportunities to take the lead in the final seconds, the game went into overtime.

Dillard scored the first three buckets in extra time for the Lady Bisons, doubling her scoring output for regulation.

Despite a 3-pointer by Diamond Beatty less than six left seconds to play, Lipscomb was able to clinch the win thanks to free throws from Bliss, Dillard and Southern.

“We did respond,” Brown said. “We responded by either getting another one (basket) or getting fouled. And that was the best thing out of a young team that you want to see. The kept coming back.”

Bliss led the Bisons with 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting. LeGate followed posting 15 points of her own.

Chandler Cooper and Dillard cracked the double digit mark with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Despite averaging a double-double coming into the game, 15.5 points and 14 rebounds per game respectively, Lipscomb’s Ashley Southern was nearly shut out in the first half by the Lady Tigers’ swarming defense. Southern scored 13 on 5-of-11 shooting, with all but two points coming after half time. Southern managed to score a pivotal put-back basket, just as the first half buzzer sounded, to cut the deficit to seven, 34-27. Southern grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds for the Lady Bisons.

Junior Rachel Allen led the Lady Tigers on both ends of the floor, providing leadership to a freshman-laden roster. Allen turned in a solid all-around performance with 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Chelsea Hudson posted a double-double for TSU with 16 points and 14 rebounds.