Sept. 7, 2006
The Lipscomb University Bisons are playing a team from Nashville on Dec. 7, just not the team they originally expected to face.
The Bisons will play a basketball game against the Vanderbilt Commodores for the first time since making the move to NCAA Division I.
The Bisons will make the short trip to Memorial Gym on Dec. 7 to play the Commodores for the first time since Jan. 24,1955, an 88-61 loss.
"Obviously, this is great for us," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "The media coverage and attention the will get will be very good. We are excited about this opportunity."
The vacancy on the schedule occurred due to scheduling problems with Virginia Tech. In order to play Vanderbilt, the home game with Fisk, originally scheduled for Allen Arena on Dec. 7, has been reshuffled to Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. The Virginia Tech game was scheduled for Dec. 19 in Blacksburg, Va.
Vanderbilt is the third Southeastern Conference team on the schedule for the Bisons this season. They travel to the University of South Carolina Nov. 19 and then visit the University of Alabama Dec. 29.
"In the past two years we have played six SEC schools," said Sanderson. "I think whenever you can play those types of games, especially a local team, you have to do it."
Both Vanderbilt and Lipscomb lost in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament last season. Vanderbilt, 17-13 overall, lost to Notre Dame. The Bisons, 21-11 overall, tied with Belmont for the regular season championship in the Atlantic Sun Conference, lost at the University of Texas-El Paso.
"Our players have seen Vanderbilt play," said Sanderson. "They play against Vanderbilt's players in pick-up games in the summer.
"I like (Vanderbilt coach) Kevin Stallings. He does things the way he is supposed to do them. He is honest as the day is long. To be able to compete against those guys is going to be fun."
Sanderson has played on the Memorial Gym floor as a player at South Carolina and also made the trip with New Orleans as an assistant coach under Tim Floyd.
"The atmosphere will be great," said Sanderson. "We played Kentucky last year in Rupp Arena in front of 23,000 people. I'm sure that there will be a sellout crowd at Vanderbilt.
"Our fans are very excited about this game. We are already getting phone calls about tickets. Whenever you can get that kind of excitement about your program it is a positive."
The Bisons are 4-19 overall against Vanderbilt.