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12/14/2013 | Stegeman Coliseum - Athens, Ga. | Attendance: 4611
Saturday, December 14, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team battled back from a 19-point, second-half deficit against homestanding Georgia on Saturday afternoon but failed to get over the hump in an 84-75 loss to the Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.
“I’m really proud of our resilience and willingness to stick with it to get ourselves back in it in the second half and have a chance to win the game,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “That’s pretty resilient to be down 19 on the road in the SEC and cut the lead to four, but obviously there are a lot of breakdowns that occurred to get yourself down 19.”
The first half saw the Bulldogs put together a pair of 9-0 runs behind some sharpshooting behind the arc to take a 40-27 lead at the break. After missing their first four 3-point attempts, Georgia nailed three in a row to erase a 16-10 lead for the Purple and Gold and go up by three with 11:26 to play.
Senior guard Khion Sankey, who scored 12 points in the first half, pulled Lipscomb back within one at 23-22 with 9:14 to play but the Bulldogs went on another 9-0 run to rebuild their cushion heading into the break. The Bisons aided that run with a trio of turnovers and missing four-straight shots from the field.
The second half saw the Bulldogs come out and build a 19-point lead but the Bisons refused to go away quietly. With UGA up 14 at 62-48 with 9:34 to play, freshman guard Josh Williams drained a trey to start an 11-1 run that included a trio of 3-pointers from junior forward Martin Smith.
That would be as close as the Purple and Gold would get however, as the Bulldogs managed to stave off the Bisons run. An unlikely three-pointer by Georgia’s Brandon Morris with 2:19 pushed the lead back to 76-67. Morris entered Saturday 0-for-3 in 3-point attempts but made his first when it counted most to seal the win for UGA.
The reigning Atlantic Sun Conference player of the week, Martin Smith finished with a game-high 23 points including five three pointers.
“Martin gave us an unbelievable lift during the run in the second half,” said Alexander. “It’s a lot of fun to watch him play with a lot of confidence. We’re trying to get him to be more aggressive if you can believe that.
“He’s got to be the guy for us that wants the ball and can’t wait to shoot it. He’s growing into that and it’s a new experience for him but I’m really proud of him. His numbers are good and are consistent, so what more can you ask for really other than that?”
Sankey would tally only one point in the second half to finish with 13 along with Hampton. Williams added 11 to round out the double-digit scorers for the Bisons.
The Georgia bench proved to be a big difference in the contest outscoring Lipscomb 35-13. The Bulldogs were led by Morris, who scored 16.
The Bisons continue road action on Thursday night at in-state foe Austin Peay. The 7 p.m. contest wraps up the pre-Christmas slate for Lipscomb and is set to air live on 94.9 Game 2, the new radio home for Lipscomb basketball.