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Late rally gives Bisons season-opening win over Tusculum

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Nov. 11, 2006

Final Stats

The Lipscomb Bisons won their season opener, but that was about the only good thing Coach Scott Sanderson could say about his team.

Facing Tusculum College, an NCAA Division II school, the Bisons played a solid first half, opening with a 9-0 lead and a 43-29 advantage at the half.

But in the second half the Bisons shooting went cold as the wind whistling outside of Allen Arena Saturday afternoon, watching an 18-point lead evaporate in the second half. But in the end the Bisons prevailed with a 70-67 win.

"Sometimes you learn lessons the inexpensive way," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "This was one of those lessons. As bad as we were we had some people step up and make some plays."

Eddie Ard scored for the Bisons on a jump shot 14 seconds into the second half. The Bisons would not hit another field goal until Ard hit another jump shot with 9:51 left to play.

"We had five field goals in the entire second half," Sanderson said. "After Eddie scored the first time, we only had four field goals in the last 19:45."

Tusculum took its first lead of the game at 6:15 when Jordan Lear scored on a 3-pointer for a 53-52 advantage.

The Bisons went ahead 55-54 as Brian Fisk hit a pair of free throws. With 5:25 left. Tusculum fought back, opening up three five-point leads, the last with one minute left on the clock at 67-62.

That final five-point Tusculum lead was partially the result of a missed lay-up by Brian Fisk. After missing the shot Fisk fouled Eric Williams who then hit two free throws.

But the Bisons managed to prevail. Trey Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 67-65 with 49 seconds left.

"Good teams don't let something like this happen," Sanderson said. "Good teams also figure out a way to win."

Ard stole the ball and was fouled. He missed the second of two free throws to pull the Bisons within one point at 67-66.

Michael Lusk grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He went to the free throw line, hitting both of his free throws for a 68-67 Bisons lead with 39 seconds left.

Fisk hit another free throw with 12 seconds left for a 69-67 lead.

Tusculum's Jimmy Boone missed on a 3-point attempt with Trey Williams getting the rebound. Williams was fouled. He hit his first free throw and missed his second to close out the scoring.

Fisk scored a game-high 19 points and a game-leading three steals. Trey Williams added 11 for the Bisons. The Bisons, shooting only 20 percent from the field in the second half, finished with a 36.2 percent shooting percentage from the field.

Jason Hopkins pulled down a game-high seven rebounds and made a game-high five blocks.

"Jason is playing better," Sanderson said. "He can score down there. He can go and get rebounds out of his area. He will always step in and take charges. He just needs more time on the floor."

Four Tusculum players finished in double figures. Chris Poore led with 15 points. Serge Poppe scored 13. Eric Williams and Boone each scored 10 points. Tusculum shot 44.8 percent from the field.

The Bisons play host to Evansville Monday night at Allen Arena at 7.

"We are going to have to get some things corrected or Evansville is going to smack us," Sanderson said. "Evansville has all five of its starters back from last year. Three of their kids were players we recruited hard to come here.

"Eddie Ard has been non-existent. We haven't clicked yet. We have to get things going."