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Sanderson hopes improved Bisons are ready for Belmont

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes a team needs a shock to its system.

The last time Lipscomb and Belmont played the Bisons were shocked, losing 88-52 in the first edition of the “Battle of the Boulevard” this season. Tuesday night at 7 round two will be held at Allen Arena. A standing room crowd is expected.

The game will also be televised live regionally on CSS.

The Bisons enter the game with an 11-8 record overall, 6-4 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 18-3 overall, and undefeated in the A-Sun with a 10-0 mark as the second half of the conference season begins.

“We have made strides the last 10 days,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “It is always a long season. Different things make you refocus whether it is how you are playing on the floor offensively and defensively to how you are doing things off the floor.

“It has been a blessing to us. It has really helped all our guys in every aspect of life. It has helped us define our roles even sharper.”

It is the third game in five days for both teams. The Bisons beat USC Upstate 76-55 Sunday. Belmont defeated ETSU 72-62 Sunday.

“No one has an advantage as far as that is concerned,” Sanderson said of the schedule. “If you want to talk about an advantage then you talk about Belmont playing 10 guys on a regular basis in three games on five nights.

“We were able to play some more of our guys for extended minutes Sunday afternoon at USC Upstate. We needed that. We benefited from it. We need that for the long haul.”

Sanderson has stressed the need for his reserves to pick up the level of play. He thought that the win at USC Upstate was a confidence builder for them.

“I can’t give them confidence until they give it to me,” Sanderson said. “When they give me some confidence I will give it back to them.

“Whether it is two minutes, five minutes or 10 minutes I always tell them it is about what they do in the minutes that they get. “

The Bisons continue to be led by center Adnan Hodzic with 18.9 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. He scored only seven points at Belmont, stopping a 72-game double figures points streak.

“We will have to adjust for Adnan,” Sanderson said. “In years past Adnan has gotten 20 points every night against them. They did a great job on him.

“It is like a chess match. We will make adjustments. And as successful as Belmont was against us they will make adjustments.”

Defensively, the Bisons made some strides against USC Upstate. In the first half USC Upstate made only four-of-24 field goals, 14.8 percent. They held USC Upstate to 32.8 percent from the field for the game.

“It is so important for our players to understand the scouting report and do what we are asking them to do to the best of their abilities,” Sanderson said. “When you are playing three games in five days it is more about listening than what you do on the floor.

"It is about paying attention to details and understanding how you have to play as a collective group. Those things are vital.”

Lipscomb guard Josh Slater is second in the conference overall in scoring with 16.9 points per game.

The Bisons, second in the conference in scoring, are averaging 76.6 points per game and giving up 75.2. Belmont leads with 82 points per game. Defensively, they are allowing 63.4 points.

The next game for the Bisons is Friday at 7 against Stetson at Allen Arena.

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.