NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb University Bisons have traditionally been known for their strong defense leading the Atlantic Sun in field goal percentage defense two of the last three years.
This year the Bisons defense had been struggling, allowing opponents to shoot 44.3 percent for seventh in the A-Sun.
But Tuesday night against SIU Edwardsville, the Bisons unveiled a new starting lineup and the defense that opponents have come to expect in a 70-47 win.
The Lipscomb defense held the Cougars to 29.3 percent and forced 15 turnovers.
“The biggest thing is urgency defensively,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “We have been on our players extremely hard. We hadn’t come close to our standards defensively. We went out there tonight for 38 minutes and guarded them about as well as we could guard them.”
Sophomore guard Jimmy Oden received the starting nod for the first time this season and provided a spark for the Bisons.
“Jimmy is a guy that had to give me a leg to stand and give him an opportunity to start,” said Sanderson. “He has played better the last two or three games. I told my staff last week that I thought Jimmy would play better starting and Mike Lusk would play better off the bench and that is what happened.”
Oden finished with nine points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Senior guard Michael Lusk delivered a solid performance off the bench scoring 14 points and dishing out four assists.
Lipscomb started five sophomores. Center Adnan Hodzic, forwards Brandon Brown and Michael Teller, and guard Josh Slater joined Oden for the tip.
Hodzic posted 14 points while grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds.
Lipscomb held a 25-14 advantage at the half.
SIU Edwardsville opened the second half on an 11-4 run to cut Lipscomb’s lead to four.
Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson called a timeout at the 15:26 mark to ice the run.
The Bisons responded with a 16-0 run to break the game open and give them a 46-25 advantage with 7:54 remaining.
Lipscomb only shot 31.3 percent in the first half. They bounced back in the second to shot 56.5 percent from the field to finish the game shooting 41.8 percent.
“When we missed all those shots in the first half we got better defensively whereas before it drained us defensively,” said Sanderson. “We got lower and in better stances when we missed those shots. I was more proud of that than anything.”
Lipscomb is 4-1 on the year when holding opponents to less than 60 points.
Lipscomb improves to 4-4. SIU Edwardsville falls to 2-8.
After a break for exams, the Bisons will close their nonconference schedule with three road games beginning with N.C. State on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m.
Jonathan Seamon and Benjamin 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