Jan. 16, 2006
In the course of a season there are teams that seem to be more difficult to face, regardless of records or expectations.
Such is the case when the Lipscomb Bisons face the Stetson Hatters in Atlantic Sun competition on the basketball court. Monday night at Allen Arena the Bisons prevailed 57-52, ending a three-game losing streak against the Hatters dating back to last season. The Bisons extended their own winning streak to four games in row, all against A-Sun competition.
"Stetson has been a thorn in our side," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "We had to get by Stetson. They were the only team in the conference we didn't beat at least one time last season."
The Bisons jumped out to an 11-0 lead, extending their advantage to 16-4 before Stetson started clawing back into the game. Three-point shots by Gabe McMillen and Kris Thomas and a pair of jumpers from Garfield Blair sparked the Hatters to score 12 unanswered points to tie the game at 16-16 with 8:15 left in the half.
"Stetson is a team that does not go away," said Sanderson. "When we were up by 12 we knew they would continue to battle. I told our players there is n lead big enough against Stetson."
The Bisons answered with a 10- 2 run as Brian Fisk connected on pair of 3-pointers for a 26-18 lead with 3:21 before intermission. A 3-pointer by James Poindexter gave the Bisons a 29-19 lead with 2:34 remaining, but Eric Diaz connected on a 3-pointer for Stetson at 2:15 to trim the lead to 29-22 at the half.
In the opening minutes of the second half the Bisons continued to play strong offensively leading by 13 points, their biggest advantage of the half at 39-26 with 14:43 remaining on a jump shot by Poindexter.
Just as in the first half Stetson refused to go away. The Bisons final double-figure lead was 10 points at (45-35) on a jumper by Ard with 10:03 left in the game.
Capitalizing on turnovers by the Bisons and some selective shooting the Hatters were four points down (45-41) after Karl Hollingsworth found the range on a 3-pointer with 5:59 left to play.
"Sometimes it is hard to keep your focus when you have been struggling the way they have, but they played awfully hard," said Sanderson.
The Bisons pulled ahead by eight on free throws from Poindexter and Ard, but again the Hatters trimmed that advantage to four points with 4:24 on the clock.
At 2:02 Stetson trailed by five, 52-47, on a jump shot by Blair. A 3-pointer by Hollingsworth closed the gap to one two points with 1:19 left.
Lipscomb center Shaun Durant responded with a dunk with 43 seconds left for a 54-50 edge. Anthony Register hit a pair of free throws for Stetson to again pull within two points with 22 seconds to go.
A pair of free throws by Trey Williams with 21 seconds on the clock and a free throw from Ard at 15 seconds iced the game for the Bisons.
Ard shot a game high 22 points, the fifth time this season he has scored 22 or more points. He hit 7-of-12 shots from the field and 7-of-9 free throws. Fisk was 5-of-10 from the field including 3-of-4 from 3-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line for 17 points.
Register led Stetson with 13 points. Hollingsworth added 10.
The Bisons shot 43.9 percent from the field while holding Stetson to 30.4 percent.
Durant led the Bisons with nine rebounds. Hollingsworth led Stetson with 9. The Bisons held a 37-30 advantage on the boards.
The Bisons are 10-6, 6-2 in the A-Sun. Stetson slipped to 2-13, 2-5 in the conference.
"Stetson competes," said Sanderson. "They are going to win some games in this league."
The next game for the Bisons is the first round of the "The Battle of the Boulevard" Friday night at Allen Arena at 6:30. The game will be televised live on CSS.
"It should be a great game," said Sanderson. "You can't oversell a game like that. If you lose it is only one loss. If you win it is only one win."