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Jacksonville (14-16, 9-8 ASUN)
Lipscomb (12-16, 7-10 ASUN)
2/28/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 986
Thursday, February 28, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With an Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament berth clinched, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team took the floor on Thursday night looking to improve in the standings and did just that with a 77-73 win over Jacksonville to move into a tie for seventh place with North Florida.
With the win, Lipscomb (12-16, 7-10) and North Florida both sit at 7-10 in league play and play each other in the final regular season game for both squads on Saturday night at Allen Arena. With a win over the Ospreys, the Bisons would finish no worse than the No. 7 seed and could move as high as the fifth seed depending on other outcomes around the league.
“This game tonight was a possession to possession battle,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “We were changing defenses. We had to make shots. We had to make free throws and you can’t simulate that in practice.”
Thursday night’s contest that turned out to resemble a heavyweight prize fight looked early on like it would be a laugher as the Bisons jumped out to a 17-6 lead with 14:10 to play in the opening stanza. The Dolphins (14-1, 9-8 A-Sun) would get back up off the mat however and would tie the game at 22 with 5:49 left in the first half.
Both teams would land punches back and forth in the contest as the lead changed hands eight times along with 12 ties before Lipscomb took the lead for good with 8:36 remaining in the contest when senior guard Deonte Alexander hit a jumper to put the Bisons up 59-57.
With such a close game, it came down to free throws and Lipscomb got the job done down the stretch going 8-for-8 from the charity stripe over the last seven minutes of the contest. The Dolphins on the other hand were 3-for-5 including missing the front end of two one-and-ones.
The Bisons landed three players in double figures in the win led by sophomore forward Martin Smith, who finished the night with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor. Martin Smith was joined in double digits by redshirt freshman Stephen Hurt with 20 and junior guard Khion Sankey with 12. Hurt added nine rebounds, one shy of notching his ninth double-double of the season.
JU’s Jarvis Haywood led all scorers with 26 ahead of teammate Keith McDouglad’s 17.
Jacksonville won the battle of the boards 42-40 but that was thanks to a 25-18 margin at the half. Lipscomb would outrebound JU 22-17 in the final 20 minutes of action including 12 offensive boards.
“We’ve won three out of four now heading into the game against North Florida,” said Sanderson. “Although we’ve gotten better, we still haven’t peaked yet. Hopefully, we can play a little bit better on Saturday night.”
Saturday’s A-Sun “Senior Night” battle against North Florida tipsoff at 8:15 p.m. One lucky fan will win a 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS courtesy of Lyons Chevrolet, Buick, GMC.