Jan. 31, 2006
It's a big rivalry, but when it is all said and done the two games against Belmont are only two games out of 20 to be played in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Tuesday night Lipscomb's Bisons ended a seven-game A-Sun winning streak, the longest in their brief history in the conference, with an 81-65 loss at Belmont on the road at the Curb Event Center in round two of the "Battle of the Boulevard". A less than capacity crowd of 4,650 watched the game. The Bisons entered the game solidly entrenched in first place.
"We still have eight regular season games left and then the conference tournament," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "There is a lot of basketball to be played."
The Bisons played Belmont twice in 11 days with home-and-away games with Florida Atlantic sandwiched in between. The Bisons went 3-1 in those four games, moving into first place in the Atlantic Sun.
"When you are on top of the league everybody is shooting for you," said Sanderson. "There were 10 teams in our league rooting against us. They want us to drop down into the rest of the pack."
Cold shooting in the first half helped the Bisons dig too deep a hole. The Bisons hit only 8-of-28 first half shots (28.6 percent) while Belmont hit 14-of-27 (51.9 percent).
"We had some open looks," said Sanderson. "We missed 20 shots in the first half. That sucks the life out of you defensively."
"They focused on those three guys most of the time," said Sanderson. "They have to do more screening, moving and driving to the basket. Our unguarded guys have to be major factors and they weren't. We didn't adjust very well."
For the game the Bisons shot 37.3 percent after posting a 45.2 percent rate in the second half, hitting 14-of-31 shots. Belmont was 18-of-34 in the second half to finish at 52.5 percent for the game.
"I didn't like our body language," said Sanderson. "I'm a big believer in body language. We beat East Tennessee State shooting 29 percent from the floor. We didn't do a very good job on either end of the floor against Belmont.
"That's why I called so many time outs near the end of the game, I wanted them to keep their focus. I wanted them to use good body language. I wanted them to remember to keep their wits about them."
The Bisons trailed 35-24 at intermission, but came out strong in the second half on field goals by Michael Lusk, Poindexter and Jason Guyette to cut the Belmont lead to six (50-44) with 11:09 remaining in the game.
But Belmont quickly rallied, holding on to a double figure lead from 10:18 until the end of the game.
Lipscomb placed three players in double figures with Fisk scoring 14 followed by Poindexter with 11 and Ard with 10.
Belmont had four players score in double figures with Josh Goodwin and Brian Collins each scoring a game-high 21 points. Justin Hare finished with 15. Boomer Herndon recorded a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Bisons are 9-3 in the A-Sun, 13-7 overall, Belmont is 8-4 in the conference, 10-9 overall.