Jan. 7, 2006
Florida looks a little bit brighter for the Lipscomb Bisons basketball team.
Saturday afternoon they raised their Atlantic Sun record to 3-2 with a 75-67 victory over Jacksonville at Swisher Gymnasium.
The Bisons scored on their first possession of the game, a 3-point shot by forward Eddie Ard, and never trailed in the first half. The Bisons would lead by as many as nine points on two occasions, heading into their dressing room at intermission with a 38-37 advantage.
Sanderson was concerned with the defensive efforts of the Bisons. Defense has been a key to success all season. The Bisons shot 54.3 percent from the field, but Jacksonville shot 42 percent. The Bisons did held a 34-27 edge on the boards.
""We're trying to outscore people all of a sudden and I don't know why, "said Sanderson. "On the board today I put a couple of things up there and I said focus on playing hard and playing smart but focus on defending and rebounding I mean that's what we do...defend and rebound. If we're going go out there and try to score 90 on somebody, we're going to get beat.
"Before the start of the second half I talked to them for about five minutes and, you know, I walked out of there. If we don't defend and rebound, we don't win games. We held them to eight field goals in the second half and that's what wins basketball games."
Jacksonville struck quickly at the start of the second half, taking a 44-42 lead with 18:36 left to play on a 3-pointer by Marcus Allen.
Lipscomb junior guard Brian Fisk, who scored a career-high 31 points, tied the game with a two-point shot at 44-44 at 17:47. The Bisons then went on a 10-2run to take a 54-46 lead with 12:03 left in the game. His 31-points places him in a tie for ssecond on the school's single-game scoring list in the NCAA era.
"I mean he's coming on," said Sanderson. "Every time he is shooting it right now, I think it is going in. I mean he is playing very, very good.
"He got some big steals for some lay-ups on the other end which obviously helped us a lot and he's playing good and we need to get a couple of other guys playing along with him."
The Bisons earned their first double-figures lead on a lay-up by Fisk at 9:21 for a 59-48 advantage. Jacksonville cut the lead to six 59-53 on a jumper and free throw from Allen.
The biggest lead for the Bisons was 14 points (67-53) with 5:07 remaining. Jacksonville would once again pull close, trailing 67-60 with 2:28 left to play after a pair of free throws by Mario Brown.
Fisk hit one of two free throw attempts with 51 seconds left to give the Bisons a 70-60 lead. They would keep a double-figures advantage until Jacksonville's Antonio Cool hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds to play to trim the Bisons game-winning margin to eight points.
Jacksonville, which has been hampered by injuries and personnel transfers, fell to 1-11, 1-4 in the conference. The Bisons are 7-6 overall.
"Doing what their doing in my opinion is very difficult," said Sanderson. They just continue to battle and continue to battle. Sometimes when you're getting beat you know you have a tendency to give up, and there was no give up in them at all.
"They played extremely hard the whole game, even when we got up 14 late, I never felt comfortable over there."
Ard finished with 16 points and Lusk added 11. Ard and Durant tied for the team lead in rebounding with seven each.
"Mike is solid," said Sanderson. "He played 24 minutes and he had two turnovers, but I don't really remember the turnovers that he had.
"He's just a solid non-mistake guy. He's not going to force anything. The only thing we give up in playing him there is that we give up a little rebounding."
"Offensively, you've got to guard every guy you know," said Sanderson. "I think when Shaun scores with that group, and he didn't score tonight, you know that is going to be a tough group to guard because that's four guys that are very skilled that pass the ball.
"It is something we are going to continue to work with. I kind-of like it myself."
Jacksonville placed four players in double figures. Cool led with 17 followed by Brown with 12, Allen with 11 and Aubrey Conerly with 10. Allen also had a game-high eight rebounds.
The Bisons are back in action Monday night at 6 against North Florida in Jacksonville.