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11/12/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. - Allen Arena | Attendance: 1124
Monday, November 12, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It didn’t really matter what school name was on the uniforms or what level of basketball the opponent played.
The Lipscomb Bisons needed to take the level of play up a notch after Friday’s loss to Belmont and coach Scott Sanderson thinks they did. The Bisons beat Maryville (Mo.), an NCAA Division II team, 73-55 at Allen Arena Monday night.
“We just played better,” Sanderson said. “We showed improvement. They played a spread out offense and that is hard to guard, especially for a young team.
“I thought for 35 minutes that we did a really good job. We were disciplined defensively. We maintained defensive intensity. I thought we got better.”
One of the biggest pluses for Sanderson and his staff was the chance to get playing time for everyone on the team. And with nine new faces, every minute of court time helps this early in the season.
“That was extremely valuable,” Sanderson said. “We try to get them in there as much as we possibly can.
“I always tell them that it doesn’t matter if you play three minutes, five minutes or eight minutes. It is a question of what do you do with the minutes that you get? Are you productive or do you have zeros across the board?”
Senior guard Deonte Alexander connected for a game-high 16 points, hitting three-of-six from 3-point range. Forward Martin Smith and guard J.C. Hampton each scored 13 points. Hampton was 3-of-5 in 3-point shooting. Also in double figures was center Stephen Hurt with 10.
“I thought J.C. got off to a great start,” Sanderson said. “He can shoot it. He can handle the basketball. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He knows when to push it and when to pull things back.
“He stepped up and made a few threes. He pushes the ball in transition. He makes nice passes. He is a good defender. He has the chance to be a nice player for us.”
The Bisons held a 40-18 advantage on the boards. Guard Khion Sankey hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds.
“Khion was awesome on the backboards,” Sanderson said. “We rebounded the ball better.”
Turnovers proved to be an issue with Maryville scoring 21 points off of 19 Lipscomb miscues.
“We turned the ball over more than we should have,” Sanderson said.
Guard Armon Provo paced the Saints with 10 points, the only member of the team in double figures. Forward Myles Jerrett was the top rebounder with four.
Maryville, a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, fell to 2-1 overall. The Bisons evened their record at 1-1.
“It’s a process,” Sanderson said. “It wasn’t Belmont, but I thought we took a step in the right direction.
“We have some really good pieces. We are just trying to get them to play together on both ends of the floor.”
The Bisons have one day to prepare before heading to Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C., for the first road game of the season at 5 p.m.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.