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Mercer (5-2, 1-0 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (4-4, 0-1 A-Sun)
12/1/2011 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 1730
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson continues to emphasize to his freshman-loaded squad the necessity to listen and learn.
While the Bisons fell 79-72 in their Atlantic Sun Conference opener Thursday against Mercer in Allen Arena, the game will be a teaching opportunity for Sanderson.
“I thought Mercer weathered the storm in the first half but we didn’t weather their storm in the second half,” said Sanderson.
Lipscomb was up 30-23 with six minutes to play in the first half and allowed the Bears to tie the game at 34 at the half.
Mercer opened the second half with a three and led the rest of the game. They shot 58.3 percent in the second half and 50 percent overall. Lipscomb shot 30.3 percent in the second period and 38.1 percent overall.
Turnovers were also an issue for the Bisons. After having 13 or fewer miscues in each of the previous four games, Lipscomb turned the ball over 21 times.
“All of our turnovers were pretty much self-induced,” said Sanderson. “We didn’t turn the ball over because of what they did, but because of what we did.”
Freshman forward Malcolm Smith posted a career-best 22 points in 14 minutes off the bench.
Smith was a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line as the Bisons shot 17-of-18 from the line, their best output since hitting 21-of-22 attempts (95.5 percent) against Florida Atlantic on Jan. 19, 2006.
The Bisons entered the game hitting a chilly 65.5 percent of their free shots.
Senior Jordan Burgason added 16 points and hit four three-pointers off the bench. Sophomore Robert Boyd also finished in double-figures with 10 points.
Mercer had a 36-32 rebounding advantage. Senior Justin Glenn had a team-high seven rebounds.
A jumper by freshman Damarius Smith cut Mercer’s lead to one, 58-57, with 6:22 to play. Mercer responded by scoring on its next four possessions to retake a nine point lead.
Lipscomb hosts Kennesaw State in Allen Arena Saturday at noon. The court will be dedicated to former basketball coach Don Meyer at halftime of the game.
The Lipscomb Sports Network radio broadcast presented by Jackson will be carried live on 102.5 The Game in Middle Tennessee and online at LipscombSports.com