Feb. 3, 2007
Let's just say it is not the Bisons favorite place to play on the road. After picking up a big road win at Mercer on Thursday, the Bisons were unable to get a sweep on the road, dropping a 69-67 game to the Stetson Hatters.
With eight seconds to go in the game, the Bisons took the ball the length of the court with a chance to tie the game or take the lead, but Trey Williams missed on a three pointer, and Eddie Ard could not get the put back to go.
The Bisons are now 0-5 all-time in Deland, Florida.
"If you are not going to guard and you go nine minutes to start the second half without scoring--you are going to get beat," Head Coach Scott Sanderson said. "It should have been worse than it was."
Jumping out to a 26-15 lead with 9:20 to go in the first half, it looked like the Bisons were going to run away with the game early. However, Stetson turned up the offense, and locked down their defense after trailing by 11 points to go on a 26-13 run to end the first half up by two points 41-39.
"We were very good and then we subbed and they started to score and we never got it back," Sanderson said. "When you give a team like that confidence or any team and they start making shots they have not made all season long, that's what happens. It is a product of you not doing what you are supposed to do defensively and you not doing what you are supposed to do offensively, and we scored only 5 field goals in the entire second half."
In the second half, the Hatters took the momentum from the first half, and scored the first six points to take a 47-39 lead with 17:13 left in the game. Things continued to head downhill for the Bisons, because while Stetson continued to knock down shots, the Bisons could not buy a basket.
The Hatters stretched the lead to the largest of the game at 55-43 with 12:51 to go. The Bisons did not get their first field goal in the second half until the 11:49 mark when Brian Fisk launched a three-pointer.
The Bisons would not give up, led by senior Brian Fisk who netted a season high 30 points on a night where he went over the 1,500 point mark for his career. The only other Bison to reach double figures was Michael Lusk who had 12 points. Eddie Ard and Trey Williams each posted just three points apiece.
"(Brian) played with a lot of heart and passion," Sanderson said. "He knows it is coming down to the end for him and he wants to do the best he possibly can. It was like we were playing with one or two horse power all night long with him and Michael Lusk."
Fisk cut the Hatters lead down to just three points with 5:44 left with a lay-up after a steal by Lusk. The Hatters then stretched the lead back out to seven points with back-to-back scores by Garfield Blair.
Fisk would then hit two free throws with 2:29 left in the game after a couple of field goals from Jason Hopkins to bring it to 69-67, but the Bisons were unable to score the next two times down the court including the final possession.
"We came back, but it should have never got to that," Sanderson said. "We are not going to quit playing, but it should have never gotten to that point and I hold myself responsible for that."
"We couldn't get guys going," Sanderson said. "I put guys on the bench for a long period of time. I just don't understand how we are not zoned in and play a game like this, especially in a place where we have not won."
Kris Thomas led the scoring for the Hatters with 12 points. A. J. Smith and Eric Diaz both added 10 points apiece. The bench from Stetson outscored the Bisons bench 34-10.
The Hatters shot 24-of-43 from the field for 55.8 percent, 8-of-19 from the three-point line for 42.1 percent, and 13-of-18 from the free throw line for 72.2 percent. The Bisons on the other hand shot just 19-51 from the field for 37.3 percent, 6-of-19 from behind the arc for 31.6 percent, and 23-of-28 from the line for 82.1 percent.
"To shoot 65 percent (from the field) and 42 percent from behind the three point line, I don't care what happens you are not going to win games," Head Coach Scott Sanderson said. "We didn't deserve to win and they deserved to beat us."
The Hatters, now 8-15 overall and 4-8 in the Atlantic Sun picked up their 300th win all-time in the Edmonds Center.
"We have got to get back and practice a little more, we have got to regroup from this one," Sanderson said. "We are all jockeying for position, there is not a game we need to drop, and we needed to win both of these games on the road. We do not take care of business like we are suppose to and again you have to give Stetson credit they kept battling and battling. They deserve to win tonight. You have to give them credit they wanted the game worse than we did."
The Bisons, now 14-10 overall, and 8-5 in the Atlantic Sun will return home to face Belmont in the Battle of the Boulevard in the CSS Atlantic Sun Game of the Week on Friday night at 6:30 PM CST.