Jan. 25, 2007
Melissa Hopkins needs to have more birthdays.
Her husband, Lipscomb Bisons center Jason Hopkins, gave his wife an unusual present Thursday night. He scored a career high 17 points, combining with center Thomas Pfaff who tied his career-high with 10, to help the Bisons take a 73-62 win over Kennesaw State Thursday night in an Atlantic Sun game at Allen Arena.
"Any time you can go out there and do the family proud it is always nice," said Hopkins, a junior college transfer. "Before this season I was used to scoring a lot in the post. It was a good win and a good feeling.
"It is basically what the defense gives us. You go out and do your job. Most of the time my job is to screen and get our other guys open. But if the defense is going to give me something I am going to take it and try to give our team a win."
The Bisons outscored Kennesaw State 38-18 in the paint.
"Kennesaw State didn't have that many fouls down low to give," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "We tried to emphasize getting the ball inside in the first half. Scoring in the low post is something Jason has been able to do in practice, but hadn't been able to do in a game. This is going to bode well for us. It will give our guards confidence to throw the ball in there more. That should open things up more."
Also setting a pair of career highs was freshman forward Michael Teller who scored a19 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench, both career highs. The Bisons reserves outscored Kennesaw State's 32-11.
"Michael is a very good guy in our zone," Sanderson said. "Defensively, he is solid. He goes and chases down every rebound. He is very active on the backboards. He made some big-time shots for us.
The game was a barn-burner from the beginning with 10 ties and five lead changes.
Guard Golden Ingle's hot hand from 3-point range in the first half kept Kennesaw State in control for much of the first half. The Bisons never trailed by more than six points. Guard LaKory Daniels connected on a 3-pointer with three seconds left to tie the game at 35-35 at the half.
With 16:07 left to play Lipscomb's Michael Lusk hit a lay-up to tie the game for the last time at 41-41. At 15:43 Lusk went to the free throw line and hit a pair of shots to give the Bisons a 43-41 lead. It was the closest Kennesaw State would get to the lead for the rest of the game.
The Bisons steadily built on their lead. Their biggest advantage was 15 points with 1:36 left in the game.
"It was a hard fought game," Sanderson said. "Kennesaw State is a hard team to play. We are just glad we won."
Also in double figures for the Bisons was forward Eddie Ard with 14 points.
The Bisons shot 48.2 percent from the field, hitting 27-of-56 shots. They were 6-of-13 from 3-point range, a 46.2 percent success rate. At the free throw line the Bisons hit 13-of-22 attempts (59.1 percent).
Kennesaw State placed three players in double figures. Ingle led all scorers with 22 points, including 17 in the first half. Guard Brent Ragsdale scored 17. Andre Morgan chipped in with 10.
Kennesaw State shot 41.2 percent from the field hitting 21-of51 attempts. From 3-point range Kennesaw State was 8-of-24 (33.3 percent). Kennesaw State hit 12-of-14 free throw attempts, 85.7 percent.
The Bisons are 7-3 in the A-Sun, 13-8 overall. Kennesaw State slipped to 4-6 in the conference, 8-14 overall.
The Bisons meets ETSU Saturday at 4 p.m. at Allen Arena in a crucial A-Sun contest. The Bisons have won 18 straight home games, the 10th longest streak in NCAA Division I. ETSU has won its last eight road games in a row.
"We feel like we are supposed to win all of our home games," Sanderson said. "So far we have done that. ETSU is going to be a major challenge. They have size at every position. They have good depth. Right now, they are probably the best team in our league."