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After break, Tipton goes strong despite Lady Vols’ blowout win

It was getting embarrassing at Thompson-Boling Arena, so Ashley Tipton just thought what the heck.

Her Carson-Newman Lady Eagles of NCAA Division II were getting hammered, as expected, by Pat Summitt’s Tennessee Lady Vols, defending national champions of NCAA Division I, 45-9 at halftime of this exhibition game.

So having been held scoreless at halftime, Tipton, a former Farragut High School standout who’s now a major three-point threat for C-N, got aggressive.

“In the first half I relied on threes too much, and they weren’t falling,” the 5-foot-10 junior starting wing said. “And it continued that way in the second half, so I kinda decided, ‘what’s the worst thing that could come of driving at a big girl, getting my shot blocked, but that’s nothing we haven’t seen already tonight.’ So I figured, ‘why not?’”

Tipton managed six second-half points — not much, unless the team only scores 30 — as Tennessee drilled the Lady Eagles 91-30 Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“Threes are my strong suit, so I usually go to threes first,” Tipton said. “As a player I have to adjust. It wasn’t there, I was covered, so I tried to extend my game by driving more in the second half and having a more versatile game.”

Offensively, Tipton added, “I need to pick up the pace as a leader, as a captain of the team. We were struggling, and someone has to step up.”

Helping lead her Lady Eagles to the NCAA Division II Tournament last season with an 8.5 point- and 3.8 rebounds-per game average, Tipton said she’s confident C-N can go further this season. And to help make that happen, “I would like to average double-digits [scoring],” she said. “Defensively, I need to come a long way. I need to play better help-side for my team so they’re not having to rotate and cover my man.”

Sophomore reserve post Catelyn Dake, also an ex-FHS standout, scored one point for C-N on a late-game free throw.


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