LipscombSports.com
Bisons overcome adversity in 89-68 A-Sun win over Mercer

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jan. 9, 2007

Final Stats

GALLERY

The true measurement of the character of a team is how it handles adversity.

The Lipscomb Bisons showed what they are made of in the character department in an 89-68 Atlantic Sun Conference win over Mercer Tuesday night at Allen Arena. It was the 17th straight win for the Bisons on their home court.

"It was a good team effort," Sanderson said. "But we didn't play very well until the last nine or 10 minutes of the game.

"I'm concerned about us defensively. We have to hunker down and guard people. They came down their first six possessions they scored every single time. We can't beat the teams we have to beat to win our league by letting them come down six straight times and score."

The Bisons entered the game knowing they would be without the services of senior guard Brian Fisk who is injured. But as the game progressed they also had to adjust to the fact that point guard Trey Williams was on the bench for 26 minutes as he dealt with foul trouble.

"We need Trey in there," Sanderson said. "The last couple of games he has been in foul trouble.

"He creates a lot of stuff for us offensively. He gets us in our sets late in the shot clock. We don't need him on the bench for 26 minutes. We need him on the floor."

Help came from guards Michael Lusk and LaKory Daniels who both set new career highs in scoring. Lusk scored 17 points, besting his previous high of 15 points set against Jackson State Dec. 8, 2005.

"Lusk is a great on-ball defender," Sanderson said. "He guards a man-and-a-half. When he is aggressive offensively he is very good because most teams put their worst defender on him. He is a guy who is able to capitalize on that. He is very valuable to our basketball team."

Daniels scored 14 points. His previous high was 13 against Belmont March 4, 2006 in the finals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. Daniels grabbed five rebounds, also a new career high. He had four rebounds at Texas-Paso in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament March 14, 2006.

"LaKory was one of our better guards the last couple of games of last season," Sanderson said. "He can score. He just needs confidence. He has played 60-plus minutes the last two games.

"Hopefully, he has got some confidence and will be able to knock some shots down. He is playing looser. He is a very good basketball player."

Forward Eddie Ard scored a game high 24 points for the Bisons. It was the fifth time in the last six games that he has scored 24 points or more.

The Bisons hit 34-of-68 shots from the field, 50 percent. They were 12-of-29 from 3-point range, 41.4 percent. The Bisons went to the free throw line for 15 shots, hitting nine of them for 60 percent.

The Bisons had control of the game in the first half, taking the lead 10-9 at 14:27 on a 3-pointer by Trey Williams. They pulled ahead 22-11 at 10:14 on a lay-up by Israel Kirk.

Mercer continued to chip away pulling within six points at 36-30 at intermission.

In the second half Mercer opened the half with a 12-5 run to pull within one point at 43-42 with 15:13 left to play.

The Bisons rallied to take a 14-point lead (62-48) with 11:01 on the clock.

The closest Mercer came to the Bisons in the second half was seven points (53-46) when Ross Alacqua hit a pair of free throws at 12:09.

The Bisons held a double figures advantage for the final 8:13, stretching their lead to a game-high 22 points (85-63) with 2:33 left to play.

Mercer placed three players in double figures. Shaddean Aaron scored 22 points followed by James Florence with 13 and Hrvoje Pervan with 11.

Mercer shot 40.4 percent from the field, hitting 23-of-57 shots. From 3-point range Mercer was 4-of-17, 23.5 percent. Mercer hit 18-of-21 free throws, 85.7 percent.

The Bisons out-rebounded Mercer 41-31. Ard grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

Mercer had three players with seven boards _ Pervan, Sam Dolan and Aaron.

Mercer is 6-9, 3-2 in the A-Sun.

The Bisons, 10-7, 4-2 in the conference, make the short trip down Belmont Boulevard Friday night for the first round of the "Battle of the Boulevard" with Belmont. The game is the A-Sun Game of the Week and will be shown live on CSS.