In one of the most dramatic games played at Allen Arena, Lipscomb's Bisons battled Georgia State to a 55-55 tie in regulation, and then took the game in overtime by a score of 59-57.
"It's a huge lift," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said of the Bisons first victory in three tries against Georgia State. "It is a huge confidence game."
With both teams shooting below 40 percent from the field, any points in overtime were crucial. Both teams were scoreless until the 2:40 mark when senior forward Matt Jarboe gave the Bisons the lead with a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the arc. Sophomore guard Brian Fisk would hit a free throw at 1:17 to give the Bisons a four-point lead. Georgia State would get the final two points of the game courtesy of a field goal from Marcus Brown with 59 seconds left.
In the final seconds the Bisons would miss on a 3-pointer by junior guard James Poindexter. Brown would miss a field goal, and then miss two free throws with one second left for Georgia State.
Making the victory even more impressive is that the Bisons led only once in regulation. They held a 4-2 edge at 18:24 on a lay-up by junior forward Cameron Robinson. The Bisons tied the game two more times in the first half, but went into their dressing room at intermission trailing 30-24.
"We got down 10 points and fought back defensively," Sanderson said. "In a lot of games like this in years past we wouldn't have had enough toughness to fight back and win. We had guys step up and make plays down the stretch. It was a great team victory."
In the second half Georgia State would jump out to a 10-point lead on four different occasions, the last at 11:59 on a lay-up by Boyd Copeland.
However, the Bisons refused to give up. Sparked by freshman guard Labrian Lyons the Bisons trimmed Georgia State's lead to 43-40 at 10:34. Lyons scored eight points from 11:42 to 10:34, with two free throws sandwiched between a pair of 3-pointers.
"Hopefully, this will give Labrian some confidence," Sanderson said.
Sylvester Morgan gave Georgia State a five-point lead with a lay-up at 10:21. The Bisons answered with a field goal from James Poindexter and a free throw by junior center Charlie Jenney to cut the lead to 45-43 with 9:22 remaining in the game.
Morgan struck again with a lay-up and added a free throw after being fouled on the play by Jenney at 8:42. Morgan would add two more free throws at 8:01 to give Georgia State a 50-43 advantage.
The Bisons continued to chip away with crucial seconds ticking away. Fisk found the range from the field to pull the Bisons to within two points at 51-49 with 4:45 left. Jarboe made the second of two free throws to make it a 51-50 Georgia State lead at 4:03.
Morgan hit the second of two free throw attempts to give at 3:39 to give Georgia State a 52-50 lead. Junior center Shaun Durant tied the game for the Bisons with a lay-up at 3:35.
Morgan struck again from the free throw line at 3:02, once again hitting the second of two free throw attempts. Fisk then hit one of two free throw tries for the Bisons at 2:47 to tie the game at 53-53.
Copeland hit a lay-up at 1:40 to put Georgia State ahead once again. With less than a second remaining in the game Fisk leaped from the free throw line and put in a one-handed shot to send the game into overtime.
Fisk was the only Bisons player in double figures with a game-high 19 points. Durant finished with a game-high 14 rebounds.
Brown led Georgia State with 18. Morgan added 15. Copeland scored 10.
"We just have to put some offense together with our defense," Sanderson said. "We have been solid in the half court defensively."
The Bisons are 8-3 overall, 3-1 in the A-Sun. Georgia State slipped to 5-8, 2-3.