The Bisons rolled to a 99-73 win over Kennesaw State Saturday night in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Allen Arena. They shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and 47.2 percent in the final 20 minutes.
It was the fifth straight win for the Bisons, 7-2 overall, 2-0 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State slipped to 2-8, 0-2 in the conference. The biggest lead for the Bisons was 30 points with 9:56 left to play.
After spotting Kennesaw State a 5-0 lead to start the game the Bisons took over at 7-6 with 16:46 remaining in the first half and never trailed the rest of the way. They led 55-37 at the half.
But Sanderson was most impressed that despite a big lead the Bisons never let down on defense. They held Kennesaw State to a 36.7 shooting percentage from the field.
“I thought we maintained defensively which is something we have not done,” Sanderson said. “We will have a good half defensively and then we will not have a good half.
“I thought we maintained our effort and energy. We still have some areas we have to improve on defensively, but overall I was pleased with our defensive effort.”
Sanderson expects his players to be at the top of their games defensively regardless of the score.
“That is something that we have harped on religiously,” Sanderson said.
Center Adnan Hodzic scored a game high 25 points, but only six of his points were scored in the first half. Hodzic has been scoring most of his points in the second half, an area of his game that Sanderson wants to see changed.
“Adnan needs to play two halves offensively,” Sanderson said. “I don’t want him scoring most of his points in the second half to be a habit.
“He has a hard time. Guys are swarming around him. He got 15 shots overall. We want him to get 15-to-18 shots so that was pretty good.”
The Bisons have at least five players capable of consistently scoring in double figures. Opposing teams soon realize in the first half that Hodzic is not the only offensive weapon for the Bisons.
“Defenses are keyed in on Adnan,” Sanderson said. “We have more guys that can score than just him. So when other teams get tired he starts doing his damage.
“Opponents have to guard all five spots. It makes it hard for them defensively.”
Guards Josh Slater and Jordan Burgason each scored 19 points for the Bisons. Freshman guard Robert Boyd added 12.
Slater and Hodzic led the Bisons with eight rebounds each. The Bisons held a 46-38 advantage on the boards despite Kennesaw State forward LaDaris Green’s game-leading 12 rebounds. He had a double-double with 11 points.
Guard Markeith Cummings led Kennesaw State with 23 points. Guard Spencer Dixon finished with 21.
“I thought it was our most complete game of the year,” Sanderson said. “We held them to 36.7 percent shooting from the floor and we only made seven turnovers. When we do those things we are going to be successful.
“We were plus-eight on the backboards. When we got big leads for the most part we kept big leads."
The Bisons close out the pre-Christmas schedule Tuesday night with a visit to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Game time is at 7.
“We’re getting a little bit better and a little bit more consistent in practice,” Sanderson said. “There is another great opportunity for us at Alabama.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.