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Monday, February 06, 2006
Feb. 6, 2006
DELAND, Fla. _ The race to the regular season Atlantic Sun title is a lot closer than it was two days ago.
The Bisons lost 85-67 Monday night, slipping to 10-4 in the conference. The loss puts the Bisons in a tie with Belmont for second with 10-4 records. East Tennessee State takes a half-game lead at 11-4.
"There are three weeks left in the regular season," said Lipscomb Coach Scott Sanderson. "We have to zero in on why we are where we are right now. We have to go home and regroup. We have to understand where we are and why we have gotten there. The way we played in this game is not how we got there. We have to rechannel our focus as far as defending and rebounding."
The Bisons have not won a game at the Edmunds Center, Stetson's homecourt. The Bisons are 14-8 overall. Stetson is 6-17 overall, 5-9 in the A-Sun.
"Every time we play Stetson they punch us right in the mouth and we take it," said Sanderson. "I know our team is tired of hearing me say that. They just absolutely out-toughed us."
The Bisons have struggled at Stetson since joining the Atlantic Sun Conference. Stetson's Anthony Register hit two free throws before the game started as the Bisons were hit for a rare technical for dunking during pre-game drills.
With Stetson ahead 2-0 before the ball was tipped, the Bisons trailed 18-11 at 15:31. The Bisons went on a 12-0 run to take a 23-18 lead at 11:25.
"We lost that game in the first four minutes," said Sanderson. "They had 17 points before the first media timeout. When you establish yourself defensively like that you are not going to win that game at all."
Stetson answered with a run of their own going on an 11-0 scoring spree to take a 29-25 advantage.
At 4:16 Stetson took its biggest lead at eight points (33-27).
The Bisons were able to mount a rally in the final two minutes of the first half with a 5-0 effort. Fisk fired up a 30-footer at the buzzer to trim the lead to three points at 35-32.
In the second half the Bisons jumped out to a 40-34 lead with 18:21 left in the second half.
Eddie Ard hit a jumper for the Bisons at 17:25 to pull the Bisons to within one at 40-39. Lipscomb center Shaun Durant tied the game with a free throw at 16:40 at 41-41. Durant then put the Bisons ahead at 43-41.
Ard hit a jump shot to give the Bisons a 45-43 lead with approximately 16 minutes left.
With 14:37 remaining the game was tied at 45-45. Stetson took the lead at 47-45 before Ard answered again for a 47-47 tie.
Stetson's shooting was red-hot from the field, especially from 3-point range. The Bisons struggled at the 3-point line as Stetson's defense concentrated on the perimeter. With 11:43 left Stetson led 54-47 as the Bisons continued to struggle from 3-point range. At 10:46 Stetson extended the scoring run to 9-0 for a 56-47 lead.
Ard stopped the run with a 3-pointer with a little over 10 minutes left to play.
Fisk put up a pair of field goals to trim an 11-point Stetson lead to six points at .
With eight minutes left the Bisons were down by eight at 62-54. Stetson continued to build on the lead, ahead by 10 with 6:02 left to play and 11 with 5:59 on the clock.
With 4:28 left to play the Bisons were down by 16 at 74-58. With 3:33 left Stetson was up by 19 as they shot a sizzling rate from 3-point range. Ironically, Stetson has the worst 3-point field goal statistics in the A-Sun.
"Give them credit, they played great," said Sanderson. "They shot it well. The basket was big for them."
Ard put together another outstanding game from the field with 25 points which also ties his career high.
Fisk scored 19 points, his 17th straight game in double figures, setting a new NCAA era school record for consecutive double figure games. Cameron Robinson added 10 points.
The Bisons shot 48.2 percent from the field, and struggled from 3-point range hitting 5-of-20.
Four Stetson players scored in double figures as the Hatters shot 62 percent from the field, 75 percent from 3-point range. E.J. Gordon led the way with 23 points. Anthony Register added 20 followed by Gabe McMillen with 12 and Garfield Blair with 10.
"We guarded absolutely nobody," said Sanderson. "I'm upset with our defense and rebounding. The better team won.
"We got out-rebounded by 10 in the second half after outrebounding them by five in the first half. If you don't defend and rebound you have no chance to win."
The Bisons return home Thursday night to welcome North Florida to Allen Arena for its first visit at 7. The Bisons will also be at home Saturday at 1 p.m. against Jacksonville as part of homecoming festivities.
"We can look at North Florida's record and be deceived all we want about that, but they are good," said Sanderson.