Coach Scott Sanderson and his Lipscomb Bisons basketball team will be facing their own version of the Final Four over the next 11 days.
The Bisons, still in the mix for one of the eight spots in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, ended their last road trip of the regular season with a split in the state of Georgia . The Bisons beat Mercer 69-64 Friday night, but fell 86-62 at Georgia State Sunday afternoon.
"If you told me we were going to get a split on the road before we left I would have signed up for that," Sanderson said. "We have to take care of business at home. We have to focus on the things we need to do. In order to beat the teams in our league there are certain things we need to do offensively and defensively against each one of them."
The Bisons started out strong hitting a trio of 3-pointers on the way to a 17-8 lead, but after the first seven minutes Georgia State went into high gear for homecoming fans at the GSU Sports Arena.
GeorgiaState kept the game up-tempo, shooting a sizzling 55 percent from the field. A 17-2 run and a 9-0 run in the first half combined to giveGeorgia State a 42-17 halftime lead.
"They ran it down our throats," Sanderson said. "We did the worst job this year of trying to follow a scouting report."
In the second half the Bisons never gave up, but the closest they would get to Georgia State was 13 points at 44-31 with18:32 left to play.
"Eddie played a pretty good game, but we are missing Brian Fisk," Sanderson said. "We need his production both offensively and defensively."
Fisk, the Bisons' leading scorer, finished with three points.
While he didn't do anything that would stand out statistically, freshman guard LaBrian Lyons gave the Bisons a boost.
"LaBrian gave us a lot of energy," Sanderson said. "As long as he does that, he will be fine."
The Bisons held Marcus Brown, Georgia State's leading scorer without a point in the first half, but he rallied with 15 in the second. He was one of fourGeorgia State players in double figures. Kevin Thomas had a game-high 20 points followed by Boyd Copeland with 18. Herman Favors dropped in 12.
Durant was the leading rebounder for Lipscomb with four as Georgia State held a 35-28 edge.
The final four homes games are crucial for the Bisons if they are to qualify for postseason. The stretch run begins Thursday night at 8 in Allen Arena when Campbell visits.
"A lot of teams in our league would like to have four games at home during this part of the season," Sanderson said.
Campbell has not won a game in the conference this season, but they have played a string of close games. Sanderson and his Bisons will not take the Camels lightly.
" Campbell has been knocking on the door every night," Sanderson said. "They are a hard playing, physical basketball team."