Free throws down the stretch can propel a team to a win or allow a game to slip through a team’s hands.
With Tuesday’s free throw struggles fresh in the Bisons minds, Lipscomb hit 17-of-20 free throws in the second period to propel itself to a 70-58 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
“We kept them away from us tonight with our free throws that we made in the second half,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson.
Sophomore guard Josh Slater scored all nine of his points in the second half going 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Guards Jimmy Oden and Michael Lusk along with Brandon Brown combined to go 8-of-9 at the charity stripe in the second half.
Southeastern held a 29-28 advantage at halftime. But the Bisons had no intention of losing their second game in a row at home for the first time since the 2003-2004 season.
Southeastern Louisiana shot 52.2 percent in the first period while the Bisons shot 40 percent.
In the second period Lipscomb held Southeastern to 34.4 percent while Lipscomb nailed 66.7 percent of their shots.
“I thought we executed down the stretch nicely, especially offensively,” said Sanderson. “I thought we got some nice baskets and curl shots. I thought we were very unselfish and got some good shots late in the game.”
Lipscomb went on an 8-0 run over 2:40 with 6:43 remaining in the game to extend their lead to 58-48.
Southeastern hit two 3-pointers to cut Lipscomb’s lead to four, but the Bisons countered with a layup by Lusk, a jumper in the paint by Adnan Hodzic and two free throws by Lusk to bring their lead back to 10 with 1:29 remaining.
Hodzic returned to the court after injuring himself on the tipoff in the season opener against Oakland City.
He scored a game-high 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting in 29 minutes of action.
“He’s a tough kid,” said Sanderson. “He got some big baskets for us. He doesn’t have his timing back yet, but he’s obviously a big part of what we do.”
Lusk went 5-of-6 from the field scoring 15 points. He added four assists, a block, and two steals. Slater was the only other Bison to score in double figures with 11 points. He also contributed two assists, a block, and two steals.
Lipscomb out-rebounded Southeastern 41-20.
“That’s a huge stat,” said Sanderson. “With Thomas and Adnan in the post along with Brandon Brown and Michael Teller, those are all guys that rebound the basketball for us.”
Brown grabbed a team-high 10 boards. Teller added nine rebounds.
Lipscomb scored 38 points in the paint while Southeastern had 24.
The Bisons will travel to Samford on Monday night for their first road game of the season. The game is schedule to tip at 7 p.m.
Jonathan Seamon and Benjamin Seamon, along with special guest commentator Justin Seamon, will be on the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network. Free online audio streaming is available at www.LipscombSports.com/sportsnetwork/.
Story by Trevor Garrett of the Lipscomb Athletics Media Relations Department