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10/31/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 1962
Thursday, October 31, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Powered by 21 second-half points from junior forward Martin Smith, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team topped long-time rival Freed Hardeman 95-83 on Thursday night at Allen Arena.
Martin Smith erupted in the final 20 minutes of action after an 0-for-5 first-half performance that saw him score only a pair of free throws. The Clarksville native sank his last seven attempts from the field as Lipscomb turned a two-point advantage into a 90-77 lead.
“Martin was the difference,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “He knows that he’s the guy that we have to have contribute. He’s our primary offensive weapon. We’ve got great confidence in him and he’s got the green light whether it’s a make or a miss. He’s got to be ready to shoot the next one. “
Redshirt freshman guard J.C. Hampton’s return to the floor played a big part in the victory as well finishing with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
“We found a way to win it in the end,” said Alexander. “I’m not sure it was ever pretty. It was quite a grind but I’m proud of our guys for persevering. I thought our mentality was tough throughout and we made enough plays down the stretch that the margin was comfortable when it mattered the most.”
Junior forward Malcolm Smith chipped in 14 points in the victory and pulled down a team high eight rebounds. Twin brother Martin added seven boards as Lipscomb outrebounded Freed-Hardeman 44-38 including a 20-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.
“More important to me than the 44 total rebounds is the 20 offensive rebounds,” noted Alexander. “You can’t get 20 offensive rebounds unless you’re really giving a great effort. You look down the stats sheet and there are guys all up and down it that made a contribution in that area.
“We have to be a team that gets extra possessions and that’s a great way to do it.”
The Bisons also led the turnover battle forcing the Lions into 18 turnovers that led to 27 points. Lipscomb only turned the ball over seven times on the night and only twice in the second half. Sophomore guard J.J. Butler’s play was a big part of that as the Abingdon, Md. native notched seven assists and no turnovers and added eight points.
Reginald Gilmore led the way for Freed-Hardeman with an 18-point effort making all seven shots he attempted from the floor to go with a pair from the charity stripe.
The Bisons open the 2013-14 regular season Friday, Nov. 8 hosting Belmont at 6 p.m. in the “Battle of the Boulevard.” Less than 1,000 tickets remain. To purchase visit http://www.LipscombTickets.com or call 615-966-5166.