Lipscomb's Bisons are fighting for a berth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, making every win crucial. Without a doubt, Saturday afternoon's 80-61 rout of conference-leader Gardner-Webb has been the biggest game of the season with three left to play.
The Bisons have won back-to-back games at home, and have won 10-of-12 games at Allen Arena this season. Gardner-Webb, which shot only 38.3 percent from the field, ended a four-game winning streak.
"I thought we played awfully well on both ends of the floor," said Lipscomb Coach Scott Sanderson. "I thought we were very focused the whole game to hold a team as explosive as they are offensively to 38.3 percent and 3-of-21 from 3-point range.
The Bisons, who shot a season-high 53.7 percent from the field, took control of the game with the first shot, a lay-up by Cameron Robinson at 19:26.
The Bisons would give up the lead only one time, at 15-13 as Gardner-Webb's Simon Conn hit a jump shot.
The Bisons pulled back ahead on a 3-pointer by LaBrian Lyons at11:40 to make it 16-15 and never trailed again.
The Bisons closed the first half with a 7-0 run to lead by 17 at 43-36 at intermission.
"I thought we were very aggressive early on in the game," Sanderson said, "We played with a little confidence. We learned how to play with a bigger lead than we have had in the past."
In the second half the Bisons were never seriously challenged by Gardner-Webb. With13:56 left in the game the Bisons led by 22 points (54-32).
Gardner-Webb chipped away at the lead, but the Bisons never lost a double-figures advantage.
Gardner-Webb pulled within 12 points on two occasions in the final two minutes of the game.
The Bisons placed four players in double figures in scoring with Brian Fisk leading the way with a game-high 24 points. Eddie Ard recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and a game-high and season-high 12 rebounds. Cameron Robinson chipped in with 12 points and LaBrian Lyons added 11.
"We have made great strides," Sanderson said. "LaBrian played very good in the first half. Eddie played very well. They are freshmen and Brian Fisk is a sophomore. We're excited about the next two or three years."
The Bisons out-rebounded Gardner-Webb 45-30.
"I thought all-in-all we played a solid basketball game," Sanderson said.
Robinson also made three steals while Ard recorded a season-high five assists.
"Eddie is getting better and better," Sanderson said. "He is such a good passer in the interior. He has really stepped up for us."
Tim Jennings led Gardner-Webb in scoring with 20 points. Simon Conn added 10.
The Bisons are 14-11, 9-9 in the conference. Gardner-Webb is 15-10, 12-6 in the A-Sun.
"We are playing pretty good right now," Sanderson said. "It's good to be playing like this late in February."