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BIsons hold off Campbell for 65-64 A-Sun win

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jan. 20, 2007

Final Stats

Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson jokes about liking to sweat in Campbell's tiny Carter Gymnasium.

Sanderson was drenched Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't from the heat inside the 947-seat gym. His Bisons gave him all he needed to sweat about before pulling out a 65-64 win over Campbell in Atlantic Sun competition. Five of the last six games between the two teams have been decided by six points or less. The win gives the Bisons a 6-3 record at the half-way point of the conference schedule.

"I was proud of our guys and the way they bounced back," Sanderson said. "This is not an easy place to play. The game was back-and-forth, back-and-forth. We held strong. I'm tickled to death to get the win."

"As proud as I am of them, we have to learn from this road trip. We have to come ready to play every game. We are going to be getting everybody's best shot."

The Bisons came into the game hitting four-of-48 attempts from 3-point range. They hit nine-of-19 attempts in the first half to pull out to an 11-point lead (34-23) on a 3-point shot by LaKory Daniels with 3:52 left before intermission.

"I thought the first 17 minutes of the game we were as efficient offensively as we have been all season long," Sanderson said. "We have been working on ball screens and our spacing. I thought our spacing was much better. We got open looks and we were making our shots."

The Bisons did not score again in the first half as Campbell went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 34-31 at the break.

"Campbell shoots so quick," Sanderson said. "They are very, very explosive. We turned the ball over three times in a row and the next thing you know it is a three-point game at the half."

Campbell stayed close in the second half getting its first lead of the game at 51-50 on a 3-pointer by Ruell Pringle with 8:32 left in the game.

The Bisons responded with a lay-up by Devon Seaford.

Campbell again took the lead for the last time in the game at 7:20 as Jonathan Rodriguez hit a pair of free throws for a 53-52 advantage.

Lipscomb took over the lead at 54-53 on a lay-up by Eddie Ard to start an 8-0 run that gave the Bisons their largest lead of the second half at 60-53 with 4:32 left to play.

Campbell answered with a 7-0 run that tied the game at 60-60 with 2:52 left in the game.

A pair of free throws by Jason Hopkins put the Bisons up 62-60. Pringle tied the game for Campbell with a jumper at 1:39. Hopkins came back for the Bisons with a tip-in with 56 seconds on the clock.

Campbell missed a jumper and then fouled Lipscomb's Brian Fisk who went to the free throw line with 19 seconds left. He missed his first attempt, but hit the second for a 65-62 lead.

Pringle rushed a 3-pointer with seven seconds left, but missed. With three seconds left Campbell's Russ Gibson connected on a tip-in. Lipscomb's Michael Lusk was fouled before the inbounds pass could be made with 1.6 seconds left. His missed both of his attempts.

"I told Mike to make sure he missed the second shot and to make sure he hit the rim," Sanderson said. "After the game I told him he was going to miss it anyhow so he could blame it on me."

Campbell fired a full-court shot at the buzzer but missed.

For the first time this season the Bisons placed five players in double figures. Point guard Trey Williams led with a game-high 15 points. Hopkins and forward Michael Teller each scored 11 points. It was a career high in points for Teller. Ard scored 10 points, all of them coming in the second half. Fisk also added 10.

"We played 10 guys 11 minutes or more," Sanderson said. "I thought our bench played well. It was critical for us to play so many players so we would be fresh down the stretch."

The Bisons shot 44.7 percent from the field (21-47) and 39.1 percent from 3-point range (9-23). The Bisons were 14-of-18 from the free throw line (77.8 percent).

The 64 points scored by Campbell was its lowest offensive production this season. They were averaging 83.9 points per game, 11th best in the country. Pringle and Gibson each scored 12 points. Ledell Eackles scored 11.

Campbell shot 41 percent from the field hitting 25-of-61 attempts and 33.3 percent from 3-point land connecting on eight-of-24 tries. Campbell only had six free throw attempts, hitting all six.

The Bisons are 3-2 in Carter Gymnasium. Campbell was 7-1 at home and 4-0 in daytime games this season heading into the game.

"We are sitting here fighting for our lives," Sanderson said. "But the most important thing for us is March. We have to be peaking at the right time.

"The league race is still in the balance. That is our first goal. But the ultimate goal is to be playing well in March."

The Bisons start the second half of conference play at home Thursday night when Kennesaw State visits Allen Arena at 7. Saturday at 4 ETSU visits for a crucial match-up.

"We have nines games left with five at home and four on the road," Sanderson said. "No game is a guarantee."

The Bisons are 12-8 overall. Campbell slipped to 8-10 overall, 3-5 in the conference.

Justin Seamon contributed to this story.