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Lipscomb (15-15, 10-8 ASun)
ETSU (18-14, 10-8 ASun)
3/4/2014 | MSHA Athletic Center (Johnson City, TN) | Attendance: 2523
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team laid it all on the line on Tuesday night in the quarterfinal game of the 2014 Atlantic Sun Men’s Basketball championship, but when a desperation three clanged off the front of the orange cylinder, the horn sounded with the Bisons falling 89-88 in double overtime to ETSU.
“I’m so proud of our players and their commitment to our team and to Lipscomb,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “They gave Lipscomb their best effort every time they went out there this season and tonight was no exception.
“We’re not pleased with the result, but we did enough to win. Played hard enough to win and made enough plays to win. We just didn’t.”
Lipscomb got 24 points and 12 rebounds from junior Malcolm Smith, who scored his 1,000th career point on a jumper in the paint in the first overtime to become the 43rd player in Bison basketball history to reach the mark.
The Bisons also got double-figure scoring from Josh Williams, who finished with 20 points along with Martin Smith and J.C. Hampton, who scored 12 and 11 respectively.
Lipscomb led by as many as 16 points in the second half after coming out of the locker room after halftime on a tear. The Bisons led 58-42 with 7:53 to play before the Bucs mounted their comeback effort. ETSU would go on a 25-9 run to end the half and send the game to overtime tied at 69.
The overtime periods featured two teams who refused to lose with both ETSU and Lipscomb building five-point leads before the other team rallied back. The Bisons refused to back down in the first extra frame just as the Bucs would do in the second overtime.
Jalen Riley was the hero for ETSU hitting a clutch free throw at the end of regulation and another at the end of the second overtime with 1.6 seconds remaining to earn the win. Riley led all scorers with a 28-point effort including a 16-for-21 night at the line.
With the loss, the Bisons bid farewell to senior guard Khion Sankey, who finished the night with eight points, all in overtime.
“Khion made a couple of huge threes for us,” said Alexander. “In both cases he wanted the ball. He obviously didn’t want it to end. I told Khion in the locker room that I love him and everything about him.
“I hope there are a lot more like him that will come and give Lipscomb their best effort like he has over the course of his two years here.”
With the loss, Lipscomb finishes the 2013-14 season and first under Casey Alexander 15-15 overall and 10-8 in conference play. It marks the first campaign since 2010-11 that the Purple and Gold reached the .500 mark.
“There are a lot of people that make an unbelievable effort that are either Lipscomb fans, or in the office or former players,” said Alexander. “This really is our team and I’m so glad to be a part of it. Because we have such a commitment for this basketball program to be good, I think we’ll all see dividends from that soon.”