Dec. 8, 2006
The Lipscomb Bisons got better as a basketball team, but they would have liked to have added a win to go along with that improvement.
Thursday night at Memorial Gym the Bisons fell 59-50 to Vanderbilt University in the first meeting for the two teams in men's basketball since 1955. It was the second game for the Bisons against a Southeastern Conference school this season. They have one more, a trip to Alabama on Dec. 29.
"We are young program trying to build our identity," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "Playing a school like Vanderbilt is a great plus for us. I wanted to win the game, but our players learned a lot from this game. I think they got better. I was proud of our effort. Hopefully, they can continue to build on this game."
The Bisons played a solid first half shooting 40.7 percent from the field. The Bisons held Vanderbilt to 30 percent from the field (9-of-30) and went into their dressing room at intermission with a 27-21 advantage.
"I definitely thought we had a chance at it after the first half," Sanderson said. "We had the tempo of the game exactly where we wanted it for a long time. We wanted to run when we could. We wanted to be selective on our shot selection.
"We were on offense in the first half for 13 or 14 minutes. In the second half we were on offense maybe eight minutes."
In the second half the Bisons shooting went cold, hitting 33.3 percent (8-of-24). Vanderbilt shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22).
The Bisons lost the battle of the boards 37-27 after holding a 20-16 first half edge.
"They out-rebounded us by 14 in the second half including eight offensive rebounds," Sanderson said. "We told our players at halftime that Vanderbilt was going to be crashing the boards. They shot it and they went and got it in the second half."
But the biggest stat for Vanderbilt in the second half was their 15-of-18 performance at the free throw line as Vanderbilt did not score a field goal until almost six minutes into the second half.
"You lose games on the road at the free throw line," Sanderson said.
Ard led the Bisons in scoring with 14 points. Point guard Trey Williams added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Vanderbilt guard Derrick Byars scored a game-high 18 points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds. Forward Ross Neltner added 13 points.
"I thought we got tired," Sanderson said. "We stopped moving, We settled for contested threes which is not good. Some of our guys played too many minutes which is my fault. We have to continue build our bench and play some our players four or five minutes less."
The Bisons are 6-3 overall. Vanderbilt is 4-3.
The Bisons are taking a few days off for final exams. They return to action at Allen Arena Dec. 14 when Nichols State visits.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work," Sanderson said.