The Bisons held Florida Gulf Coast to only four points in the final seven minutes Wednesday night at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. and came away with a 75-61 win.
The Eagles 61 points marked the fewest point total the Bisons have allowed all season.
Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said he was happy to get the win and thought his team took some steps in the right direction.
“It’s a start,” Sanderson said. “We went seven straight possessions in the final four or five minutes where they did not score a basket. You have got to build on that because we gave up over twenty points in the first eight minutes of the second half.
“Our practices have been phenomenal and our shoot-arounds have been phenomenal. We just haven’t translated it for 40 minutes, and we didn’t translate it tonight for 40 minutes…but then we rose to the occasion and got seven straight stops at the end.”
With the victory, the Bisons snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 8-5 on the year and 3-1 in the Atlantic Sun. The Eagles dropped to 3-10 overall and 0-4 in the A-Sun.
Lipscomb senior and reigning Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Adnan Hodzic paced the Bisons with 21 points and eight rebounds. Seniors Josh Slater, Michael Teller, and Brandon Brown also scored in double figures. Slater finished with 17 points including 10 free throws, Teller had 15 points including the first eight points of the first half, and Brown added 10 points.
Teller’s 15 points were a season high. After the game, the senior forward said the team wanted to come out and prove a point from the start of the game.
“We were upset with the way we played the other night,” Teller said. “We just had to come out and show that that’s not who we are, and we have got to prove to the league that you cannot just come in here and get a piece of us. We are going to give you a tough battle every night and play as hard as we can.”
The Bisons jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the game in the first three minutes. However, FGCU battled back with a 13-4 run to draw within one point after eight minutes had gone by.
Hodzic picked up two early fouls and only played nine minutes in the first half.
“I was glad to see us play the way we did with Adnan on the bench,” Sanderson said. “He only played nine minutes in the first half and I thought we were pretty good. We played well offensively and I thought we were pretty good defensively.”
Lipscomb took their largest lead of the first half at the 1:50 mark. However, the Eagles finished the half with seven unanswered points and went to the break trailing by seven.
The Eagles drew within three points in the second half but that was as close as the Bisons would allow them to get. The final seven minutes belonged to Lipscomb as they finished on a 14-4 run.
Lipscomb dominated the boards and out-rebounded the Eagles 42-29.
The Bisons shot 23-of-50 from the field and 5-of-19 from behind the arc. Lipscomb hit 24-of-32 free throws. The Eagles finished the game shooting 24-of-56 from the field and 6-for-20 from the three-point line. FGCU only hit 35 percent of their free throws, finishing the game 7-for-20.
Florida Gulf Coast entered the game led by Reed Baker and Anthony Banks in scoring. The Bisons held the dynamic guard/post combo to just nine points. Point guard Marlon Rivera led the Eagles in points and rebounds with 14 and seven respectively.
The Bisons next action comes on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. central when they host the Jacksonville Dolphins. Jonathan and Benjamin Seamon will be on the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network. Coverage begins with the Countdown to Tipoff at 6:10 p.m.