EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – It may have not been a good looking victory, but the record books will reflect a Lipscomb win and the Bisons will seek to learn from the game as they enter conference action next week.
The Lipscomb University Bisons (1-4) came from being down ten points a minute into the second half and held on to a three point lead with a minute left to defeat SIU Edwardsville (0-5) 67-64 in Edwardsville, Ill.
“I was proud of our guys that we hung in there, especially in the second half,” said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. “We held them to 29.6 percent shooting and eight field goals in the second half. A lot of that had to do with mixing back and forth between our zone and man-to-man defenses.”
Lipscomb fell behind by as many as 12 points as the Bisons struggled to control the ball over and were unable to stop a strong shooting performance by SIUE.
Lipscomb turned the ball over 10 times and allowed SIUE to shoot 53.3 percent in the first half.
Down 31-19 with 5:17 left in the first, Lipscomb hit four of its next five attempts including threes by Michael Teller and Johnny Lee to make it a 33-31 game. SIUE made two field goals before halftime to take a 37-31 lead into the locker room.
SIUE’s Mark Yelovich drained two jumpers to start the second period and put SIUE up by ten points. Yelovich finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Josh Slater, who did not score in the second period, gave the Bisons the jumpstart they needed. He scored the first eight points of the half for Lipscomb to bring Lipscomb within six, 45-39, with 16:52 left.
With the Bisons back in the game, Adnan Hodzic turned on his guns in the low post. He propelled Lipscomb on an 8-0 run scoring seven of those to put Lipscomb up 48-45 with 12:35 remaining.
Hodzic finished with a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He was 10-of-17 from the floor and three-of-four from the free throw line.
Lipscomb had its best defensive stretch this year through the middle part of the second half.
SIUE did not hit a field goal for a stretch of 8:40 until Yelovich hit a three pointer with 9:54 left to tie the game.
“For the last ten years we have been known as a defensive team,” said Sanderson. “Right now people have been scoring on us at a high clip. We got some stops by going zone for five or six possessions. It slowed them down and we were able to rebound.
“I think the zone really helped us change the momentum of the game for them offensive. I think they went 2-of-13 against our zone.”
Teller hit a free throw and Hodzic connected on three more field goals before Brandon Brown stole the ball from LeShaun Murphy and took it for a fastbreak dunk to give Lipscomb its largest lead of the afternoon, 57-50.
Yelovich would not let the Bisons pull away draining two free throws and hitting another three to bring SIUE within two points.
Lipscomb stretched its lead back to seven points with just under two minutes left in the game before SIUE went on a 6-0 run capped by a jumper by Yelovich to make it a 64-63 game with 23 seconds left.
Slater went to the line for two free throws after being fouled. He hit the first and missed the second.
Murphy had an opportunity to tie the game from the line with 12 seconds left but he missed his second attempt.
Slater pushed Lipscomb’s lead back to three points with 10 seconds left on two free throws.
SIUE missed two three-point attempts before time expired.
Lipscomb held a 42-34 advantage on the boards.
Brown finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Lipscomb.
Lipscomb shot 25-of-59 from the field for 42.4 percent. The Bisons were 4-of-18 from the three-point line for 22.2 percent and 13-of-18 from the free throw line for 72.2 percent.
SIUE finished 24-of-57 from the field for 42.1 percent. They were 3-of-17 from beyond the arc for 17.6 percent. SIUE was 13-of-20 from the free throw line for 65.0 percent.
Lipscomb opens conference play Thursday night against Mercer in Macon, Ga. Game time is 6:30 p.m. CT.
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/.