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11/17/2011 | Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL | Attendance: 13503
Thursday, November 17, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior Jacob Arnett scored a career-high 17 points and sophomore Robert Boyd added 16 points in the opening game of Cancun Challenge, a 79-64 loss at Illinois Thursday evening.
The young Bisons’ roster with seven freshmen struggled on offense, but displayed a strong defensive composure forcing 21 Illinois turnovers.
“I thought we did a great job defensively,” said head coach Scott Sanderson. “Our problem was offensive execution. We didn’t get the shots we wanted to get and Illinois had a lot to do with that because of their length and size. “
Lipscomb (1-2) shot 31.7 percent. While Arnett and Boyd were a combined 11-of-18 from the floor, the rest of the squad was 8-of-42 (19.0 percent).
“We didn’t do a very good job offensively and didn’t get the shots we wanted,” said Sanderson. “I give Illinois credit because they are so long at every spot and they can create a lot from their defense.”
With baskets on the first three possessions of the second half, Lipscomb cut Illinois’ (3-0) lead to 36-33. The Bisons went stone cold over the next 7:12 not scoring until a 3-pointer by Boyd with 11:29 to play. Lipscomb missed ten shots and had four turnovers in the stretch.
Illinois extended its lead to 24 points, 63-39, with 7:36 to play but the Bisons did not give in. Two free throws by freshman Malcolm Smith cut the deficit to 74-61 with 1:57 to play.
“I was proud of our guys because they kept battling and kept competing and I know they are going to do that all year long,” said Sanderson.
Smith finished with ten points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Neither team lit up the scoreboard early in the game. At a media timeout near the ten minute mark of the first half, Illinois led 12-6.
“I thought we did a great job defensively. Our problem was offensive execution. If we could hold them to 12 points every ten minutes, I like our chances.”
Lipscomb committed a season-low 18 turnovers. Illinois collected 43 rebounds to Lipscomb’s 33.
Arnett and Boyd combined to nail eight-of-ten three-point attempts. No other Bison connected from beyond the arc.
D.J. Richardson paced Illinois with 17 points.
The Bisons continue the Cancun Challenge at Illinois State Saturday at 4 p.m. Steve Selby will handle the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network presented by Jackson on LipscombSports.com.