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Lipscomb (7-10, 2-4 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (12-8, 4-3 A-Sun)
1/17/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1960
Thursday, January 17, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind a career-high, 29-point effort from Deonte Alexander, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team overcame a 14-point, 2nd-half deficit to defeat homestanding Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast 87-78 in overtime on Thursday night.
Alexander willed the comeback for the Bisons (7-10, 2-4 A-Sun) in the final 20 minutes of regulation scoring 18 points in the second-half after a 2-point performance in the opening stanza. The senior guard then rattled off the first eight points of overtime breaking the 70-70 tie and putting Lipscomb in command of the Eagles (12-8, 4-3 A-Sun) in the final five minutes of the game.
“I couldn’t be prouder of a group of guys with our willingness to keep battling and overcome adversity,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “ Deonte stepped up big for us, especially in the second half. That was a game that we desperately needed. Our guys played extremely hard and executed down the stretch.”
“That win was Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in practice. Our guys came back and just bought in to the things we are asking them to do.”
The first half showed signs that the Purple and Gold could mount a comeback as FGCU led by as many as 16 points in the first half before Lipscomb went on a 9-0 run to finish the frame. That run cut the deficit to 38-33 heading into intermission.
In the overtime period, the Bisons got a defensive stop after losing the opening tip and junior guard Khion Sankey, who finished the night with 13 points and seven assists, found Alexander on the wing and he drilled his fifth trey of the night. FGCU then missed again on their end of the floor and LU center Stephen Hurt grabbed the rebound and sent a Hail Mary pass down the floor to a streaking Alexander for an easy layup and a 5-point lead.
Hurt then earned his third assist of the night on the Bisons very next possession finding Alexander again, who drained his career best sixth three of the night forcing the Eagles to take a timeout.
“To the best of our ability, we’ve got to be able to execute,” said Sanderson. “We changed some stuff offensively and revamped our whole offense Monday and for three-straight days and that’s how Deonte got 19 shots and Martin (Smith) got seven shots.”
Along with Alexander and Sankey, the Bisons finished with all five starters in double figures as Hurt and Malcolm Smith scored 16 along with Martin Smith, who added 11. Hurt added 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the campaign.
Sherwood Brown and Chase Fieler led the Eagles with 20 apiece as Lipscomb snapped a nine-game home winning streak for FGCU.
The Bisons continue A-Sun road action on Saturday with a 2:15 p.m. contest against Stetson that airs on ESPN3 and 102.5 The Game.