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North Florida (13-18, 8-10 ASUN)
Lipscomb (12-17 7-11)
3/2/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2674
Saturday, March 02, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was all in the percentages.
In the second half Saturday night North Florida shot 72 percent while the Lipscomb Bisons hit only 29 percent from the field, including misses on their last five shots. When it was all over LU had lost 85-78 at Allen Arena.
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson pointed to the loss of center Oscar Garcia, who fouled out with 12:25 left in the game, as the primary reason for the strong shooting of North Florida.
“When you let a team shoot 72 percent in a half you are going to get beat no matter who you are playing,” Sanderson said. “When Oscar fouled out it hurt us in the low post. He is a big factor for us.
“People don’t think a lot about him because he doesn’t score points and rebound a lot of balls. But he is a very good low post defender and North Florida hurt us in the low post. And they made tough shots too.”
The loss dropped the Bisons to 12-17 overall, 7-11 in the Atlantic Sun. They will be the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament, facing No. 1 seed Mercer Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. on the Bears home court.
“Every year has three seasons,” Sanderson said. “You have the non-conference, the conference and the postseason. We are in postseason now. We have to learn from this game.”
Sanderson did find one bright spot.
“The good thing about it is that every time we have lost a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching game like this we have won the next game…every time,” Sanderson said. “We had an opportunity to play at home and get a win and we didn’t do it.
“Our players knew the implications of the game. Hopefully, we can bounce back.”
Each team placed four players in double figures. The Bisons were led by guard Deonte Alexander with 19 points followed by guard Carter Sanderson with 16, center Stephen Hurt with 13 and guard Khion Sankey with 12.
North Florida forward Travis Wallace was the top scorer in the game with 25. Guard Ray Rodriguez added 16 followed by forward Andy Diaz with 11 and guard Parker Smith with 10.
The Bisons held a commanding lead on the boards with a 42-24 advantage. Sankey just missed a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds.
Sanderson will start preparing his players for Mercer Sunday afternoon. One of the main themes in that preparation will be sustainability.
The Bisons led by seven points at intermission, 41-34. The biggest lead for LU was 15 points with 16:53 left to play on a 3-pointer from Carter Sanderson. With 11:35 left the Bisons were ahead by 14 at 59-45.
“We are up-and-down,” Sanderson said. “We don’t sustain our play. We get up and the other team closes the gap on us.
“In the first half of this game for the first seven minutes we were really good. Then we went into a five-minute lull and weren’t very good. Then the last eight minutes of the half we were terrific. In the second half we played really, really good to start out and in the middle part of the half we had a lull. We don’t sustain our game for 40 minutes.”