Lyrics from Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
Ask Lipscomb Bisons coach Scott Sanderson to describe the ETSU Buccaneers basketball team and he only needs one word, “dangerous”.
Thursday night at 7:30 the highway to the danger zones runs through Allen Arena. There will be no detours. The Bisons, 6-2 in the Atlantic Sun, 9-8 overall, hold a one-half game lead over ETSU, 5-2, 9-9 overall. Campbell, 6-1 in the conference, leads Lipscomb by one-half of a game. They play at Belmont Thursday and Lipscomb Saturday.
ETSU has a 26-9 overall advantage in the series with ETSU. The Buccaneers are 3-7 on the road this season.
The Bisons are 6-2 at home, winning their last four in a row. They have won five of their last six games overall.
“ETSU is very dangerous,” Sanderson said. “They are quick and athletic. They cover a lot of ground.
“They want to play fast. They play a lot of people. They have a lot of good depth. It will be a challenge for us.”
The Bisons are coming off what may be their best game of the season on both the offensive and defensive ends, a 79-55 win at North Florida Saturday. The two biggest keys for the Bisons will be to control the boards and keep their turnovers to a minimum.
“We don’t want to play slow, but we don’t want to play as fast they want to play,” Sanderson said. “The big thing is we have to take care of the ball and rebound the ball.
“Most of their offense comes from their defense. In league play they are turning teams over 21 times a game. Their best offense is their defense. They create a lot of turnovers, getting a lot of steals and creating fast break baskets.”
Offensively, Sanderson likes where his team is at this stage of the season. Hodzic, who has scored in double figures in 44 straight games, the longest streak in NCAA Division I, leads with 21.5 points per game. Junior guard Josh Slater averages 15.2 points per game followed by sophomore forward Jordan Burgason with 12.2 points per game.
Hodzic is the team leader in rebounds with 7.6 per game.
But Sanderson always has been a proponent of defense winning games and he has the statistics to back him up.
“We have gotten better defensively,” Sanderson said. “We are 8-1 when teams shoot below 50 percent against us. That is a great stat as far as winning and losing, but not great in terms of percentage.
“The problem against ETSU is the more shots they miss the more rebounds there will be in the game. We haven’t been doing as good a job rebounding. If we can put those two things together and limit them to one shot then all of a sudden our chances of winning are even greater. If we don’t do those two things we are going to be in a dog fight.”
Junior forward Tommy Hubbard and junior guard Justin Tubbs lead ETSU. Hubbard, who has posted double-doubles in points and rebounds in eight of his last 17 games, leads ETSU in scoring with 14.7 points per game. Tubbs is second with an average of 13 points per game.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations