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Bisons lose 68-67 to Bucs; Slater posts 27

Friday, January 21, 2011

Despite a 27 point performance by senior Josh Slater, the Bisons fell short Friday night to the hands of ETSU 68-67.  

A three pointer by Slater brought Lipscomb within one point with 1.1 seconds remaining.  Following a missed free throw by ETSU’s Sheldon Cooley, the Bisons tried to force a Buccaneers mistake by intentionally committing two lane violations as Cooley tried to intentionally miss the second free-throw.  

However, ETSU was able to successfully miss the free-throw and force Lipscomb to heave a desperation shot with 0.8 seconds remaining.  The last second attempt by Jordan Burgason came up short and the Bisons dropped their fourth Atlantic Sun game of the year.  

Lipscomb dropped to 10-8 overall, 5-4 in the Atlantic Sun while the Buccaneers improved to 13-7 overall and 8-1 in league play.  ETSU remains in sole possession of second place in the A-Sun behind Belmont.  

The Bisons allowed ETSU to go on a scoring run to end the first half and take a 10-point lead to the locker room at halftime.  However, Bisons head coach Scott Sanderson said he was proud of the way the team continued to fight back in the second half.

“We have got to play the second half [for] both halves,” Sanderson said.  “We can’t play that way the first half and miss 10 free throws and expect to beat a good team on the road.  It’s just not going to happen.

“The second half, our execution, scoring, and being selective offensively.  We held them to eight field goals in the second half and did a lot of really good things.  Besides getting beat, I was proud of the way our guys battled and battled and battled back and were never denied even to the very end with the last heave at the end of the game.”

The Bisons took an early 3-2 lead in the first two minutes of the first half on a Burgason free-throw.  However, that would be the only lead of the game for Lipscomb.  The Buccaneers were led in scoring by redshirt senior Mike Smith who scored 20 points and reeled in seven rebounds.  

In the second half, Lipscomb scored the first five points to cut the Bucs lead in half.  From that point on, the Bisons never trailed by double figures.  At the 11:32 mark, Bisons sophomore Milos Kleut scored a bucket to tie the game at 44.  

Rebounding and free throws were the two key stats that plagued the Bisons throughout the game.  ETSU outrebounded the Bisons 34-33 including six second-half offensive rebounds.  Also, Lipscomb was 19-of-29 from the free-throw line (65.5 percent).  

Adnan Hodzic was the only other Bison to finish in double figures.  He scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to secure his fifth double-double of the season and 24th of his career.  

As a team, Lipscomb held the Buccaneers to 46 percent from the field while shooting 44 percent.  The Bisons were 4-of-15 from behind the arc (26.7 percent).  However, the Bucs were only 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from downtown.  Both teams shot under 70 percent from the line.  ETSU hit 20-of-33 from the free-throw line while the Bisons went 19-of-29 (65.5 percent).

Lipscomb will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. central when they head to USC Upstate to take on the Spartans.  Free audio coverage will begin at 12:40 p.m. on the Lipscomb Sports Network.  Jonathan, Justin, and Benjamin Seamon will be on the call.