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UT Martin (3-7)
12/8/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2129
Saturday, December 08, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Behind a career-high, 22-point effort from sophomore forward Martin Smith, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team cruised to a 86-62 nonconference win over UT Martin on Saturday night at Allen Arena.
With twin brother and leading scorer Malcom in dress clothes on the Lipscomb bench due to an injury, Martin stepped up his sibling’s absence with a 6-for-12 night from the field along with a perfect 9-for-9 evening at the charity stripe.
The injury also meant more playing time for the Lipscomb bench and freshman guard John Ross Glover capitalized on his time on the floor with 13 points including a jam in the second half that brought the Lipscomb faithful to their feet.
“It was unfortunate that Malcolm got hurt but it enabled John Ross and Talbott (Denny) to get more minutes and get more comfortable on the floor,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “That just comes with time and being on the floor and being able to play through some mistakes.
“When you’re playing other teams like Murray State, Ole Miss or Kentucky, mistakes are magnified and you don’t get to play through mistakes quite as often but with Malcolm being out, it gave them the opportunity to play a few more minutes. I thought John Ross, especially offensively, did some nice things. He’s got to continue to work defensively. I thought Talbott did some good things as well.”
The Bisons broke open a close game late in the second half by upping the defensive pressure on the Skyhawks. Leading 23-19 with 8:20 to play in the opening stanza, the Bisons went on a 12-3 run to make the score 35-22 on a Glover jumper. Lipscomb then capped off the first half with a trey from senior guard Deonte Alexander at the buzzer to give the Bisons a 46-27 lead at the break.
“I thought the last 10 minutes of the first half we were good defensively,” said Sanderson. “We rotated well, covered the baseline, covered the back side and went on a run there to get (the lead) to 19 points. That’s how we’ve got to play defensively for longer periods of time.”
The top rebounding team in the A-Sun, the Bisons continued their strong play on the boards outrebounding UT Martin 49-33 led by Khion Sankey and Oscar Garcia, who each had seven.
“Pretty much all year besides two games, we’ve done a good job rebounding the basketball,” said Sanderson. “I think that’s something we can do. We’ve got to continue to do it. We got 18 offensive rebounds, which some of those were stick backs for baskets. When you rebound the ball 18 times on the offensive boards it allows you to shoot more free throws.
“We shot 34 (free throws) and made 24 which is an improvement from where we’ve been shooting. 70 percent from the free-throw line, I think we’d sign up for that right now for the rest of the season.”
Alexander matched Glover in scoring as each posted a baker’s dozen. Freshman Stephen Hurt also finished in double figures for the Bisons with 10. UT Martin was paced by Khristian and Myles Taylor, who each had 14 points.
After a short break in the schedule this week for exams, the Bisons return to action next Saturday against No. 17 Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Televised on Fox Sports Net, the game gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to tune in to 102.5 The Game to hear all of the action live from the “Bluegrass State.”