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Lipscomb (6-11, 1-5)
USC Upstate (9-8, 2-2)
1/11/2014 | Spartanburg, S.C. - Hodge Center | Attendance: 611
Saturday, January 11, 2014
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – One game after torching ETSU from beyond the arc, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team got the same treatment from USC Upstate on Saturday as the homestanding Spartans drained 13 3-pointers en route to an 84– 70 Atlantic Sun Conference win at the Hodge Center in Spartanburg.
The Bisons (6-11, 1-5 A-Sun) had no answer for Upstate (9-8, 2-2 A-Sun) guard Ty Greene who finished the game with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting including 6-of-9 from deep. The Spartans also got 19 points from forward Torrey Craig, who made 8-of-19 from the floor including three treys.
“Upstate just kept hitting shot after shot after shot,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “But they’re a good team with good players and they played well today.
“Our job is to find a way to stop them. We didn’t do that today.”
Lipscomb led for much of the opening frame but the Spartans closed out the first stanza on a 10-2 run to take a 39-35 lead into the intermission and seize control of the game.
“I thought we were pretty steady in the first half,” said Alexander. “Defensively we were poised and good even though they shot a good number I think we made fewer mistakes and did our jobs well. That gave us a chance to stay right there in the thick of it”
The Bisons would make a run in the middle of the second half pulling within three at 57-54 on a bucket from freshman guard Josh Williams at 11:15 but the Spartans responded with an 8-2 run to regain a comfortable cushion.
Redshirt freshman guard J.C. Hampton led the Bisons with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor that includes 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Junior forward Malcolm Smith added 16 for Lipscomb while Martin Smith and Talbot Denny each scored 11 as the Bisons finished with four players in double figures.
The Spartans dominated on the glass with a 38-21 advantage including 10 offensive rebounds. Upstate also won the shooting battle converting 61 percent of their shots compared to the 44 percent for the Bisons. Lipscomb did manage to edge out the Spartans at the charity stripe shooting 73 percent compared to 45 percent.
Despite the setback Alexander feels the Bisons continue to improve and grow as a team.
“I feel like we’ve turned the corner a little bit,” noted Alexander. “We’ve got miles and miles to go before we’re the team we want to be but we started this trip on Wednesday having lost four in a row and knowing that we were going to two tough places to win. We found a way to get a road win that we needed.
“And then we had our moments in this game. We had plenty of mistakes here but for the 80 minutes on this trip Lipscomb got better and I think that’s something we can take back home with us from this trip.”
The Bisons return home action on Thursday night taking on A-Sun foe Kennesaw State at 6 p.m. The contest will air on both ESPN3 and 94.9 Game 2. To purchase tickets call 615-966-HERD (4373) or logon to http://www.LipscombTickets.com