It may have just been an exhibition game, but the old rivalry was rekindled between two sister schools as Lipscomb held off Freed-Hardeman 63-59 in Allen Arena.
The Bisons led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but the Lions roared back to reach within two points with 10 seconds left in the game. However, a couple of free-throws by Adnan Hodzic sealed the win for the Bisons.
“Every time we play those guys they are going to come in with a lot of energy and a lot of effort,” said head coach Scott Sanderson. “I’m glad that it happened the way that it did.”
The first half started slow with both teams struggling to hit shots. The Bisons struck first with a Michael Lusk three-pointer at the 18:44 mark. However, neither team would score again until freshman Jordan Burgason connected on another Bison three-pointer.
Lipscomb’s first 12 points of the game came from behind the three-point line.
“Probably since my first couple of years here, we will be able to shoot the ball from behind the arc,” said Sanderson. “Even more so with Adnan in the low post. He has done a better job of practicing getting the ball out of the double teams.”
Although Hodzic is expected to be one of the Bisons best players this year, he had a slow start in the first half. He went 0-9 from the floor with three rebounds. However, he bounced back in the second half to go 5-7 from the floor and score 13 points.
“Adnan will probably never go 0-9 in the first half,” said Sanderson. “He really rushed a lot of stuff offensively.”
The Bisons went into the half with a 33-29 lead over the Lions. Brandon Brown led the way for Lipscomb with seven first half points. As a team, the Bisons were 12-33 from the field in the first half and 6-12 from behind the arc. Lipscomb out-rebounded Freed-Hardeman 24-18.
Lipscomb went on an 11-5 run to open up the second half and extend their lead to 44-34 with just over 14 minutes left to play in the game. However, the Lions continued to fight back and eventually cut the lead to two points.
Free-throws by Lusk and Hodzic helped push the lead out to four with only nine seconds remaining, and the Bisons went on to win the exhibition game 63-59.
Both teams shot nearly the same percentages from the field. Freed-Hardeman shot 38.7 percent, while the Bisons shot 39 percent. Lipscomb was 7-22 from the three-point line, and out-rebounded the Lions 41-39.
“We have a lot of guys that can really shoot the basketball this year,” said Sanderson. “With Adnan inside shooting, we have a very good inside outside attack.”
The Bisons will look to use this scoring attack on Nov. 15 in their season opener against Oakland City University.
The tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Allen Arena.