NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rebounding and free throw shooting were the difference as the Mercer women’s basketball team fell to Lipscomb, 58-47, Saturday afternoon. The Bears remain winless in four road games against the Lady Bisons.
Lipscomb (6-13, 5-7 A-Sun) slowly built a seven-point lead before Mercer made its first bucket. Nicole Leonard’s layup after a pass from Courtney Hall at the 13:08 mark and Hall's 3-pointer on Mercer’s next possession brought the Bears within two.
Cold shooting plagued both teams throughout the opening half, allowing Lipscomb to take a 21-15 into the break. The Lady Bisons shot 29.2 percent from the floor, while the Bears connected on just 17.6 percent of their shots and never made it to the foul line.
Mercer (10-9, 7-5 A-Sun) struggled to find its offensive groove to open the second half as Lipscomb sprinted out to a 27-15 lead before Mercer answered back. The Bears trimmed the lead down to two twice but each time the Lady Bisons answered.
The Bears cut the lead to three with 5:34 remaining but the Lady Bisons answered with a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to put the game out of reach.
Sarah Russell was the lone Bear to score in double digits, finishing with a team-high 10 points. The bench provided a scoring spark, as Courtney Hall added nine off the bench on 3-of-4 shooting from behind the arc while Rhonda Owens grabbed eight rebounds and added six points.
Catie Woods led all scorers with 18 points with all of her field goals coming on 3-pointers. Katie Beth pate added only four points but grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
“Our defense was awesome,” said Mercer head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols. “The girls played hard but, every time we got close, something negative happened. Every time we got into a rhythm it got disrupted.”
Mercer returns to action Friday at 4:30 p.m. when it hosts Stetson during homecoming. The 2006 homecoming court will be introduced at halftime.