Nov. 16, 2006
The Bisons basketball team is on the road for the first time this season Thursday night as they visit the University of Missouri, a Big 12 opponent.
Both teams are undefeated heading into the 7 p.m. game in Columbia, Mo. The Bisons are 2-0, with wins over Tusculum and Evansville. Missouri is 3-0 with wins over North Carolina A&T, Army and Stetson.
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson's next win will be the 200th of his career. This is the first time the Bisons have faced Missouri in men's basketball.
A key for the Bisons will be to keep turnovers to a minimum.
"Missouri will press full-court for 40 minutes," Sanderson said. "Just to have a chance to win we are going to have to take care of the ball. We can't feed the monster by turning the ball over. The other team will go crazy and get the crowd in the game. Before you know it you are down 30."
Guard play is a strength for the Bisons with senior Trey Williams at the point and senior Brian Fisk at the No. 2 guard position. Sanderson will also be counting on freshman Devon Seaford to relieve Williams at the point.
"We have done a very good job of taking care of the ball, but we haven't been pressed the way Missouri is going to press us. If we take care of the ball we should be O.K.
"We can't get into a rat race with them. There are going to be a lot of possessions. They have 29 points off of turnovers in each of their last two games. Missouri is going to play as fast as they can possibly play."
The challenge for the Bisons is to keep up with the pace, but also find ways to slow the game down as well.
"I think we have to attack them to score, but if we go a couple of possessions and don't score we are going to have to pull out and run our offense," Sanderson said. "We can't play and up-and-down game the while time or we will get beat.
"We have to pick our spots. If we have a chance to push and get a cheap basket then we will have to push. If we don't get a chance to get a cheap basket we will have to pull the ball out and play defense." The Bisons, known for their strong defensive play, must also find a way to elevate their shooting.
"We are a good shooting team, but we haven't shot the ball very well," Sanderson said. "We are due for a breakout game offensively. We are past due."
Missouri's Matt Lawrence, 6-foot-7, is a 3-point shooting threat averaging 14.7 points per game. Center Kalen Grimes, 6-9, is also averaging 14.7 points per game and a team-leading 8.3 rebounds per game. Stefhon Hannah is averaging 13 points per game.
"Grimes is strong inside. All of their guards are long and athletic. They can cover the floor.
"We are athletic too. After beating Evansville at home, the Missouri game is a good one for us to find out where we are at and what we need to work on."
Sunday afternoon the Bisons will be in Columbia again, this time in South Carolina, to face the first of three Southeastern Conference teams on the schedule this season.