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Bisons win third straight game with 78-62 decision over Liberty

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dec. 10, 2005

Box Score

The plan this season for the Lipscomb Bisons is not to let any team come into their house and push them around.

After starting the season with five straight games on the road, the Bisons have responded at home with back-to-back victories with double figures advantages. Saturday afternoon the Bisons beat Liberty University from the Big South Conference 78-62 at Allen Arena in the last game before taking a week off to finish final exams. Thursday the Bisons defeated Jackson State 75-62.

"We've got win our homes games," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "If one team comes in and wins on your home court it gives the other teams coming in here confidence that they can. But if you are constantly beating guys by double figures you are going to establish yourself at home. The last two games we have done that."

It was the third straight victory for the Bisons, 4-3 overall. Liberty dropped to 2-5.

Struggling this season from the field, the Bisons shot a season-high 50 percent from the field while holding Liberty to 44.1 percent.

"If we shoot 50 percent from the floor we are going to win a lot of games," said Sanderson. "A lot of teams are not going to shoot 50 percent against us."

In the first half the game was close with the lead changing hands seven times in the first 10 minutes. Back-to-back free throws by sophomore forward Eddie Ard first tied the game and then put the Bisons ahead to stay at 19-18 with 9:52 left before intermission.

A lay-up by Ard gave the Bisons their biggest lead of the first half at nine points, 34-25, with 3:14 left. The Bisons took a 42-34 advantage into the dressing room.

In the second half the Bisons continued to build on their lead. With 41 seconds gone junior guard Brian Fisk went to the line and hit a pair of free throws that put the Bisons ahead 44-34. They would not trail by less than 10 points the rest of the half.

The last time the two teams would be that close was at 9:39 when Liberty guard Larry Blair hit a 3-point shot to trim the Bisons lead to 61-51.

Lipscomb's largest lead of the half was 18 points with 30 seconds left to play. Fisk hit another pair of free throws for a 78-60 lead.

A lay-up by Liberty's Anthony Smith with 17 seconds left was the final shot of the game for either side.

Ard led the way offensively scoring a game-high 20 points, the second time this season he has scored 20 or more points. He is also the only Bisons player to score 20 or more so far this season.

Four other Bisons finished in double figures in scoring. Fisk scored a season-high 18 points, hitting 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Senior center Shaun Durant scored 14, with eight of his points coming at the free throw line off of 12 attempts. Junior guard Trey Williams finished with 11 points, his first time to reach double figures this season. Senior forward Cameron Robinson added 10.

"Shaun has really come on and become a threat of us offensively," said Sanderson. "He is coming up strong with his shots. He is protecting the ball better in the post. He is just so much more active in rebounding the ball."

Both Robinson and Durant posted double-doubles. Durant had a game-high 12 rebounds and Robinson hauled in 10. Both of them have back-to-back double-doubles.

"If there was ever a team guy it is Cameron Robinson," said Sanderson. "He is the total team guy. He does what he is asked to do. He does it with a great attitude. We sorely miss him when he is not in there."

The Bisons out-rebounded Liberty 42-22.

"We were all over the glass," said Sanderson. "If we can continue that and understand why we're playing the way we are playing we have a chance to be decent. But we cannot lose focus."

Blair led Liberty with 19 points. He was the only member of the Flames to reach double figures. Forward Rell Porter led Liberty in rebounding with six. Fisk guarded Blair, holding him to only five points in the first half.

"We're just trying to get Brian going," said Sanderson. "He hasn't shot the ball particularly well. He had a big task guarding Blair. He made a couple of difficult shots and then we put Eddie one him.

"Brian is going to get better. I don't think he has busted out yet."

The Bisons are idle until Dec. 17 when they hit the road to play their second game of the season against Jackson State.