Thursday night’s “Battle of the Boulevard” will not be included in those talks. The Bisons fell 88-52 to Belmont at the Curb Center.
The Bisons are 9-7, 4-3 in the A-Sun. Belmont is 15-3, 7-0 in the conference.
“I’ve never been beaten like that for 40 minutes,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “We never were in the game. It was never in doubt.”
It was the biggest loss for the Bisons in the NCAA era. The previous worst was a 92-56 defeat at Furman Dec. 20, 2003.
It was also the worst Atlantic Sun defeat for the Bisons. Two times they lost games to Troy by 28 points with a 100-72 decision on Jan 10, 2004 and a 96-68 loss Feb. 17, 2004.
The Bisons never led in the game. Belmont opened a 20-3 lead in the first six minutes and never looked back. Their biggest lead was 42 points with 4:46 left in the game.
“It’s all about how you start the game,” Sanderson said. “Belmont played the way they have been playing and we played the way we have been playing.”
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Bisons in the series. it was also the biggest points differential in the series. The Bisons beat Belmont 105-68 at Lipscomb Nov. 21, 1986. The previous biggest winning margin for Belmont in the series was 31 points in a 119-88 win Jan. 14, 1995.
Another streak that also ended was the double figures scoring streak by Bisons’ center Adnan Hodzic. He scored only seven points. His streak ended at 72. It is the longest double figures streak in NCAA since UNC Greensboro's Kyle Hines went 81 straight games from Dec. 19, 2005 to March 9, 2008.
“Adnan’s energy level has not been where it needed to be for the last three games,” Sanderson said. “We had some role guys step up and take some shots early. But their shot s weren’t going so Belmont just closed down tighter on Adnan.”
Guard Brandon Barnes was the only Lipscomb player to score in double figures with 11. Barnes also recorded 10 rebounds, a season-high. He tied for the game high with Belmont center Mick Hedgepeth. It was the first double-double of the season for Barnes.
Hedgepeth scored 15 points to also record a double-double. Guard Drew Hanlen led with a game-high 17 points.
Also in double figures for Belmont were Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson with 12 each and Scott Saunders with 11.
The Bisons shot 29.7 percent from the field. Belmont shot 47.6 percent.
“We’ve got to learn from this,” Sanderson said. “It’s a mental thing for some of our guys. They have to see the video. “They can see it. They can talk about it. But they have to do something about it. And the moment to do that is at the tip-off.”
The Bisons will be back in action Monday at Allen Arena when Campbell visits.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.