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11/9/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. - Allen Arena | Attendance: 4685
Friday, November 09, 2012
The scoreboard told the story of the “Battle of the Boulevard” and it was less than happy ending for the Lipscomb Bisons.
A loss to Belmont is never easy to swallow at any time of the year, but the fact the game Friday night at Allen Arena was the season opener made the 89-60 loss in front of 4,685 fans even more bitter.
Saturday morning Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson will evaluate the epilogue of the story as he puts the Bisons through the paces in preparation for Monday’s 5 p.m. home game with NCAA Division II foe Maryville.
“We have a lot to work on, but we knew that going into the game,” coach Sanderson said. “We did not have a very good flow offensively.
“I will know a lot about our confidence level when we go on that floor Saturday for practice. Will we bounce back or will we still be staggering from this game?”
Coach Sanderson views the game as a good learning tool for his players. He has the lesson plan ready to go being able to stop penetration, boxing out defensively and executing better on offense.
“We have to learn from our mistakes,” coach Sanderson said. “We have to learn how to run our offense. We had very few good offensive possessions. We have to be able to get points and touches in the paint.”
“In the first half we didn’t do a good job of blocking out. On the shots they did miss they got some stick backs.”
25 turnovers plagued the Bisons on the offensive ball that the Bruins turned into 32 points.
The Bisons placed three players in double figures. Guard Deonte Alexander led the way with 14 points followed by guard Carter Sanderson with 13. Guard Khion Sankey chipped in 11.
Sankey led the Bisons in rebounds with seven followed by forward Martin Smith with six. The Bisons held a 36-34 edge on the boards.
All five starters for Belmont scored in double figures. Point guard Kerron Johnson scored a game-high 22 points with 11 points coming from the free throw line. Guard Ian Clark added 19 followed by guard J.J. Mann with 17, forward Trevor Noack with 11 and forward Blake Jenkins with 10.
Brandon Baker led Belmont on the boards with eight.
“You know what Kerron Johnson is going to do,” coach Sanderson said. “Trying to keep him in front is a tall order. If you know he is going left and if you shade him too far left he will turn it down and go right.
“He creates for other people. He puts so much pressure on the defense. He can penetrate or kick it. He can finish at the rim. He makes free throws. He is tough.”
Sanderson hit three-of-seven 3-point attempts. Alexander connected on four-of-six from beyond the arch.
“I have been shooting it well in practice,” Carter Sanderson said. “My teammates had confidence in me and told me to keep shooting.
“Even coach Sanderson walked over to me and said he was going to keep me in a little bit because I had the hot hand was I was able to stretch Belmont’s defense. He told me to keep firing away. To hear that confidence from them makes me go out there and play well.”
In the end Lipscomb’s inexperience with only four players who have ever played in an NCAA Division I game was not enough against Belmont’s veteran presence.
“Belmont is a good team that understands how to play offensive basketball,” coach Sanderson said. “Belmont is very experienced basketball team that will exploit your weaknesses. It was a tough team to play the first game of the year with as much savvy and understanding of what they want to do.”
Coach Sanderson had been pleased with the workouts of his players this past week, but he has to admit that youth can be unpredictable.
“There is no question that it is hard to predict what a young team is going to do,” coach Sanderson said. “Practice is one thing. Then when you try to put it all together in a game against a very good, experienced team is not easy to do.
“Maryville is a very good Division II school. We will have our hands full.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.