Lipscomb Bisons basketball coach Scott Sanderson liked the final score but that was one of the few things that made him smile.
Sunday afternoon at Allen Arena the Bisons hit an NCAA era game-high 17 shots from 3-point range in an 88-71 win over Florida Gulf Coast.
“Overall as a collective group I thought we took a little of a step backwards,” Sanderson said. “That is why I was so frustrated and animated.
“Gulf Coast shot 46 percent from the floor, they outrebounded us 40-33 and we gave up 16 offensive rebounds. We took care of the basketball and we shot the ball really, really well.”
The emphasis in the aftermath of the 88-52 loss at Belmont Jan. 13 has been to improve in games and practices each day in preparation for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.
“I didn’t like our focus or our attention to detail,” Sanderson said. “I’m saying that and we won by 17 points, but I just didn’t. I think our players understand that.
“I’m concerned about defense and rebounding. Those two things have to be constants.”
Guard Jordan Burgason led the way for the Bisons with a game-high 25 points, hitting seven-of-12 from the 3-point arc. The seven 3-point field goals equal his season high.
“Jordan can really shoot the basketball,” Sanderson said. “He has 18 3-point field goals in his last four games. We did a decent job of getting him some shots.”
The previous high for 3-point shots in a game for the Bisons was 21 against Oakland City Feb. 10, 2001 during the NAIA era.
Joining Burgason in double figures was center Adnan Hodzic with 14 followed by forward Brandon Brown and guard Josh Slater with 12 points each.
Burgason and forward Justin Glenn tied for the team lead in rebounds with five each.
Christophe Varidel led Florida Gulf Coast with 18 points. Guard Marlon Rivera added 13 and forward Anthony Banks chipped in with 10.
Center Chase Fieler grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for Florida Gulf Coast.
The Bisons shot 49.2 percent from the field, 31-of-63, and 17-of-29 from 3-point range, a 58.6 percent success rate.
It was the fourth straight win and the fifth in the last six.
The Bisons started out slow offensively with the defense keeping them in the game for the first 20 minutes.
At halftime the Bisons led 36-31.
In the second half the Bisons took control of the game and never trailed.
The biggest lead for the Bisons was 19 points, 77-58 with 5:51 left to play.
Once again the reserves came through with 17 points off of the bench.
While he didn’t score in double figures, starting guard Jacob Arnett put together a solid stats line with eight points, a team-leading seven assists and only one turnover.
“Jacob is making his open shots,” Sanderson said. “He never turns the ball over. He is definitely playing better.”
The Bisons are 14-8 overall, 9-4 in the A-Sun. Florida Gulf Coast is 5-15, 2-9 in the conference. The Bisons beat Florida Gulf Coast 75-61 Jan. 5.
Sanderson will put his players through a short practice Monday and take Tuesday off after playing five games in nine days. The Bisons are on the road Thursday at North Florida.
“It’s not about the Florida Gulf Coast game,” Sanderson said. “It is about every practice and every game. If we have a game like this in March we will be watching the rest of the season on TV.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.