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FGCU (19-11,13-4 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (14-14,9-8 A-Sun)
2/27/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2942
Thursday, February 27, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the nation’s fourth-most prolific 3-point shooting team hits the first six shots from the beyond the arc you know it is going to be a good night. The Lipscomb basketball team did just that en route to a 92 to 71 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday night at Allen Arena.
“We had a lot of guys contribute tonight and I thought our guys played their roles and played well,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “Guys found a way to contribute and it was a total team win. We had a lot of guys play well, our team played well and that’s why we won the game convincingly.”
The win keeps the Bisons in contention to host an Atlantic Sun Conference tournament game as one of the top-4 seeds next Tuesday night as part of the new format for the 2014 A-Sun Men's Basketball Championship.
Redshirt-freshman point guard J.C. Hampton led the 3-point barrage draining 6-of-10 from deep to lead the Bisons (14-14, 9-8 A-Sun).
After jumping out to an 18-6 advantage, the Bisons kept pressing on the gas pedal eventually building a 20-point cushion over the Eagles (19-11, 13-4) at the 12:06 mark of the opening half when Hampton drained a trey to make it a 32-12 advantage. Lipscomb would go on to lead by 20 at the half after a season-best 58-point performance in the first half.
The Eagles would attempt to mount a comeback midway through the second half pulling to within 14 with 8:23 to play but that is as close as FGCU would come as the Bisons pulled away down the stretch.
“I really felt like anytime FGCU got some momentum we were able to answer and stem the tide a little bit and keep a comfortable margin,” said Alexander.
Hampton and junior forward Martin Smith each finished with 21 points just ahead of junior forward Malcolm Smith, who added 20. Sophomore forward Talbott Denny added 11 points off the bench.
FGCU was led by point guard Brett Comer who poured in a game-high 27 points. The spirited Lipscomb defense held the Eagles leading scorer Bernard Thompson to only two points after the veteran got into foul trouble.
The Bisons finished the game hitting 50 percent from the floor hitting a season-high 30 field goals in 60 attempts. Lipscomb also hit 50 percent from deep making 15-of-30, both season highs. FGCU shot 41.2 percent for the night including 30.8 from beyond the arc.
Lipscomb also held a 14-7 advantage in turnovers that the Bisons turned into 15 second-chance points.
“Eighteen assists to only seven turnovers against a really good, active defensive team is exceptional ball control,” said Alexander. “Then you throw on top of that, that we make 16 threes and shoot 50 percent from the floor. We even got nine offensive rebounds which seem like a record high for us. I’ve got no complaints tonight from the offensive end of the floor.”
The Bisons wrap up 2013-14 regular season play on Saturday morning hosting A-Sun foe Stetson at 10 a.m. at Allen Arena. The game is set to air on ESPN3 and on 94.9 Game 2 in the Nashville area.
“I’m so proud of our team for staying the course and coming to work every day and finding a way to win some games here and there that could have gone either way,” said Alexander. “ I’m happy that tonight wasn’t one of those.”