Lipscomb's Bisons shot 58 percent in the first half, including 10 3-pointers, but they couldn't carry that momentum into the second half in an 82-73 loss to Mercer in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Monday night at Allen Arena.
It was the first loss of the season for the Bisons at home.
"Mercer got a big road win," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "One loss or or one win is not going to make or break as season, but it would have been nice to win this one here at home."
The Bisons, led by James Poindexter, were almost unstoppable from 3-point range in the first half with 30 of their first 32 points coming on 3-pointers. Poindexter, who tied the school NCAA record for most 3-pointers in a game with seven, was 6-for-9 in the first half. He added one more 3-pointer in the second half to finish 7-for-13.
Poindexter finished with a game-high 28 points He tied his season high for points set at Troy on Dec. 4 Brian Fisk added 13 points and tied for the team-lead in rebounds with Shaun Durant with six each.
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson was more concerned with his team's first half defensive performance. Mercer countered with 64 percent shooting from the field and trailed only 50-43 at the half despite the Bisons 3-point barrage.
"We were making shots in the first half, but we should have put our defense with that," Sanderson said. "We should have been up by 14 or 15 points at the half. It was like an NBA game. We were just trading baskets with them. That's not who we are."
Sanderson pointed to the Mercer reserves as a key to the first half as they scored 15 points off the bench.
"There subs came in and played well and gave them a huge lift in the first half," Sanderson said. "I was hoping they would put their starters back in."
In the second half the Bisons struggled to find the basket shooting 33.3 percent from the field, 14.3 percent from 3-point range.
The Bisons were scoreless from the 7:50 mark until there were 16 seconds left in the game when James Poindexter scored a lay-up to make the score 80-73.
"I don't care who you play, if you go more than seven minutes without scoring, you're not going to win that game," Sanderson said. "Mercer took the game over down the stretch. If we ever lose our focus that we are a defending and rebounding team then we will lose games like this."
Sanderson told his players that some of them may have been a little selfish down the stretch with Fisk and Labrian Lyons making less than solid decisions on shots.
"I hate to use that word," Sanderson said. "That was the first time we have done that this season. We get behind as a team. We come-from-behind as a team. We have to do everything as a team."
Mercer placed four players in double figures. Wesley Duke led with 18 followed by Jacob Skogen with 12, Damitrius Coleman with 11 and Will Emerson with 10.
"We got beat," Sanderson said. "It is over with. We have to learn from this game just like we learned from the Gardner-Webb, Campbell andGeorgia State games."
Lipscomb is 8-4 overall, 3-2 in the A-Sun. Mercer is 8-4, 4-2 in the conference.