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Tennessee Tech (3-3)
11/30/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2254
Friday, November 30, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Scott Sanderson was wondering if his Lipscomb Bisons could maintain the intensity and effort they displayed Monday against Murray State.
He got his answer in the affirmative Friday night as the Bisons held off a late rally by Tennessee Tech for an 80-64 win at Allen Arena. The Bisons evened their record at 3-3. Tennessee Tech, from the Ohio Valley Conference, is also even at 3-3.
“I thought we did some good things, especially in the first half,” Sanderson said. “We held them to 30 points and a low percentage shooting.
“Tennessee Tech is quick and athletic. That team will win a lot of games in the OVC. They are a very good basketball team. That was a good win for our team.”
While there were several contributors to the win, one of the most solid all-around performances was by junior point guard Khion Sankey with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sankey is handling most of the minutes at the point and he is happy in that role.
“I am a big body,” Sankey said of his 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame. “Nobody is going to block me out at the point guard position. I can get in the paint, dish, shoot over people and just get my teammates the ball more.
“I always think about the next play. If you make a mistake you move to the next play. That other play is over with.”
With 4:38 left in the game the Bisons held a 14-point lead, 68-54. Tennessee Tech went on a 10-0 run to make it a four-point game but the comeback attempt ended at 2:21 when Sankey hit a layup. The Bisons closed out the game on a 12-0 run as Sankey and Malcolm Smith scored on free throws and layups to seal the deal.
“Sometimes you play not to lose and that is what we were doing (during Tennessee Tech’s run),” Sanderson said. “That is why I kept calling timeout after timeout. But we made some big free throws down the stretch with Khion and Malcolm.”
The Bisons shot 56.5 percent from the field in the second half and 50.9 percent for the game hitting 27-of-53 attempts. They were also impressive from the free throw line connecting on 20-of-25 shots, an 80 percent effort.
Joining Sankey in double figures were guard Deonte Alexander with a team-high 17 points, forward Martin Smith with 14 and forward Malcolm Smith with 13.
One of the key statistics for the Bisons was the 17 points scored off the bench. Guard Talbott Denny attempted only one shot, a 3-pointer that he hit at 11:06 of the second half that moved the Bisons ahead 53-48. Guard John Ross Glover added four points and center Oscar Garcia chipped in with a season-high eight points in 12 minutes.
“I thought Oscar came in and gave us some baskets,” Sanderson said. “He has not been finishing around the hole this season.
“We are trying to get those guys some confidence. We played them for longer stretches. Hopefully, they will continue to get better.”
The Bisons held a 41-33 advantage on the boards sparked by a season-high 10 from center Stephen Hurt.
“Having Stephen play 28 minutes opposed to playing 20 or 22 minutes makes a big difference in our rebounding totals,” Sanderson said. “He is so big in there.”
Tennessee Tech was paced by guard Jeremiah Samarrippas with a game-high 20 points. Also in double figures were forward Matt Marseille with 14 points and guard Jud Dillard with 13 points. Dillard posted a double-double adding 10 rebounds.
Tuesday the Bisons make the short trip to Belmont for round two of the “Battle of the Boulevard” that will be broadcast on CSS. Game time is 6 p.m. and can be heard live on 102.5 The Game.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.