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Bisons outlast Campbell in 67-64 A-Sun win

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Feb. 15, 2007

Final Stats

GALLERY

It isn't always about who plays the best.

It isn't always about which team has the lead for most of the game.

All that matters is the final score. Lipscomb's Bisons led only one time in the second half against Campbell University Thursday night in Atlantic Sun competition. But that lead came at the end of the game when guard Michael Lusk fired up a 3-point shot with 13 seconds left to give the Bisons a 67-64 win at Allen Arena.

The victory avenged last year's 95-91 victory by Campbell at Allen Arena, the only home loss.

Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson was happy with the win, but not happy with the way his team played.

"The last two minutes we are down 64-62," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "We got three stops and two baskets the rest of the way and that was good enough to win.

"We didn't deserve to win that game. Campbell outplayed us from the opening tap to the buzzer. We got some stops late and a couple of big possessions. We were prepared. We just didn't play well. Good teams find ways to win late and we were able to do that. Sometimes games like this can give you a lift."

Lusk got the call to take the biggest shot of the game when is defender dropped down to guard Trey Williams.

"I expected to get the shot," Lusk said. "I saw Trey drive to the middle and my man helped on him. I was wide open. I called for the ball. Luckily, he saw me and passed it to me.

"I tried to follow through like Coach Sanderson has told me. It was a big shot for me. Hopefully, it will give me confidence to shoot the ball more. I think it was my first game-winning shot. I watched it all the way in."

Lusk was assigned to guard Campbell's Eric Smith, He held him to 12 points, but admitted it was a challenge.

"Campbell is a really fast-paced team," Lusk said. "Eric Smith is one of the fastest players I have played against and had the quickest shot I have ever played against. I was tired most of the game from guarding him. I was lucky to have the composure to hit the big shot at the end."

Sanderson agrees with Lusk that a play like that one could be the confidence boost he needs.

"Michael is a good shooter," Sanderson said. "He has just not shot the ball very well. That was a big shot with the game on the line and he knocked it down. He had been shooting it all year and he hadn't made that shot. Sometimes a shot like that lifts a player's confidence and he starts making a bunch of them."

Senior guard Brian Fisk led the Bisons in scoring with 18 points. Freshman Michael Teller added 17 and center Jason Hopkins scored 13.

The Bison shot 40 percent from the field, hitting 24-of-60 tries. They were 12-of-34 from 3-point range, a 35.3 percent success rate. They had 12 free throw attempts, hitting seven for 58.3 percent.

Teller narrowly missed his first double-double of his collegiate career, grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. The Bisons held a 41-27 advantage on the boards.

"We needed every one of them," Sanderson said. "We out-rebounded them by 12 on the offensive boards."

Sanderson had been stressing to his Bisons the importance of keeping teams under 41 percent shooting from the field. Campbell shot 51.1 percent, hitting 24-of-47 shots. From the 3-point arc Campbell hit eight-of-21 attempts, 38.1 percent. Campbell shot 50 percent from the free throw line, connecting on eight-of-16 attempts.

Campbell finished with three players in double figures. Joining Smith were forward Jonathan Rodriguez with 18 points, 15 of them in the second half and guard Reggie Bishop with 13.

The Bisons, 10-5 in the A-Sun, 16-10 overall, play their final home game of the season Saturday at 2 against Gardner-Webb, an exact opposite in playing style from Campbell.

"Gardner-Webb not going to shoot it very often," Sanderson said. "They are going to be very selective. They do a great job of spreading the floor. They are a lot like Belmont. And they have the best 3-point shooting team in the league. They are very efficient in what they do."

Three senior members of the team, Fisk, Trey Williams and JanAndre Williams. will be honored.

Campbell slipped to 11-15, 6-10 in the A-Sun.