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Bisons know Camels will be ready to run

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feb. 14, 2007

Elephants have long memories.

So do Bisons.

Thursday night the Campbell Camels will be running through Allen Arena. The last time the Camels visited Allen Arena they beat the Lipscomb Bisons 95-91, the only home loss last season. The Bisons have lost only once this season at home, falling to ETSU.

Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson reminds his team of that fact often, especially this week as they prepare for the Camels.

The Camels like to run with the ball whenever possible. Jay Walton, an assistant basketball coach for the Bisons, provided a scouting report for those attending Wednesday's Fastbreak Club luncheon at the Hall of Fame Room in Allen Arena.

"They want to push the ball for 40 minutes get it down court as quick as they can," said Jay Walton, Lipscomb assistant basketball coach. "They don't really mind you scoring because the quicker you score, the quicker they can get the ball and then run it down court and shoot."

The Camels average 79.6 points per game, 16th in the nation. Freshman Jonathan Rodriguez is averaging a team-leading 16.4 points per game for Campbell.

The Bisons are second in the league in scoring defense (64.9 ppg) and third in defensive field goal percentage (41.7 pct).

"They run the fast break well of a made or missed basket," Walton said. "When we get a 12-point lead on somebody we generally want to take some time off the clock, make the other team guard a little bit and get a really good shot.

"Campbell doesn't care if they are up 15 or down 15 they are going to pus the ball. It is a game of runs against them. They are very balanced. They have six players averaging eight points or more per game and all of them have a green light to shoot."

Defensively, they may give up almost 80 points a game, last in the league. But Walton warns Lipscomb fans not to be deceived by that number.

"That is more of a product of how fast they want to play," Walton said. "They are not really focused on being a great half-court defensive team like we are.

"But you have to respect how hard they play on both ends of the floor. They will scrap. They will play tough. They will play as hard as anybody in the league for the entire game."

The Bisons are stressing making good shot selections and reducing turnovers,

Coach Scott Sanderson is also putting an extra emphasis on defense. The Bisons held A-Sun teams to below 40 percent in shooting from the field, going 9-1 in those games. This season they have only done it three times and they are 3-0 in those games.

"Our focus has been there," Sanderson said. "We talk about field goal defense every game. We have to hold our opponents to 33 percent the rest of the way to get to the ultimate goal of 39 percent for the entire year."

The Bisons have also done a good job of taking care of the basketball. They are 21st in the country in turnovers per game.

"That really helps us since we have not shot the ball particularly well this year," Sanderson said. "We are keeping stats on the bench so at every timeout each player knows what he is shooting from the field."

Lipscomb beat Campbell 65-64 in Buies Creek Jan. 20.

The Bisons are 15-10 overall, 9-5 in the Atlantic Sun. Campbell is 11-14, 6-9 in the conference. The Camels are 1-11 on the road and 1-6 on the road against A-Sun teams.