Lipscomb women’s basketball senior Loren Cagle has accomplished just about every imaginable personal feat in her four-year career with the Lady Bisons.
The point guard has racked up 1,092 career points and 521 career assists, while being named ASUN Player of the Week four times and listed on the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch list twice.
The Nashville-native can now add ASUN Player of the Year to her list of accolades, after the conference tabbed her as its best player at an ASUN luncheon on Thursday.
“I’ve been fortunate to be around some great players, but she’s been unbelievable,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. “She’s a stat-line filler, from the rebounding to the blocked shots to the steals. She’s handled a lot of pressure with great composure and poise.”
Despite the personal accomplishments, Cagle and her fellow seniors have yet to win an ASUN tournament game. The Lady Bisons (11-18, 7-7 ASUN) can change that when USC Upstate comes to town for the ASUN quarterfinals on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Allen Arena.
Individually speaking, Cagle is currently enjoying the best statistical season of her career, averaging 17.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. The emergence of young point guards like Lauren Rau and Lexi Manos has allowed opportunities for Cagle to become a more dynamic scorer.
“[Cagle’s] teammates have been a great complement to her,” Brown said. “They’ve done a great job of getting her open with ball screens and having teammates that can knock down shots has given her space to operate this season.”
For Cagle, a Lipscomb Academy graduate and self-proclaimed homebody, signing with Brown and his staff was an easy choice. As her career winds down, Cagle said she has no regrets about staying at home.
“I have lots of family and friends here,” Cagle said. “It felt like it was the right fit, so I committed really early. It’s been great to have my family come to all the home games.”
Cagle, who ranks fifth on Lipscomb’s all-time career scoring list, is set to graduate in May with a degree in elementary education. Although she has been student teaching at Granbery and Tusculum Elementary schools, her future is still up in the air. Professional basketball is a possibility, as is going straight into a teaching job.
“I really don’t know yet,” Cagle said of her plans for next year. “I could possibly be a teacher, but I’m going to get through the season and then try to figure everything out.”
For now, Cagle has her sights set on not just hosting, but winning an ASUN tournament game.
“Our goal since freshman year has been to host a game,” she said. “It’s awesome to have reached that goal, but winning that game would mean even more to our team.”
Brown admitted that he isn’t looking forward to saying goodbye to Cagle, but he added that her off-the-court presence will translate well to post-college life.
“I’ll miss her coming by the office and joking around,” Brown said. “She’s not a loud player, not all, but when she talks, she has the ear of everyone on the team. The reason you coach is to build those relationships and to watch [the players] grow and develop.”
Whether the Lady Bisons win or lose on Friday, it will likely be Cagle’s last game at Allen Arena, provided that No. 8-seeded NJIT does not upset No. 1-seeded FGCU on the opposite side of the tournament bracket. After wearing some type of Lipscomb basketball uniform for the last eight seasons, Cagle said she plans to leave it all out on the court against the Spartans.
“It’s crazy, but it’s been a fun ride,” Cagle said of her Bisons career. “We’ve been saying throughout the season to have fun, so I’ll give my best effort and just try to have fun with it.”