Season opener not one to remember for Bisons
Friday, November 9, 2007

Nov. 9, 2007

The Lipscomb Bisons opened the regular season in a disappointing fashion Friday night with a 72-69 loss to Centenary in the first night of the Cyclone Challenge at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

The Bisons will play Saturday night at 5:30 against Winston-Salem State, a 58-44 loser to Iowa State, at the Hilton Coliseum. The game will not be on the Internet but will be heard on WKDA-AM (900).

The difference in the games was turnovers. The Bisons committed 30 with three in the final two minutes.

"When you turn the ball over 30 times you aren't going to beat anybody," said Lipscomb Coach Scott Sanderson. "We have nobody to blame but ourselves. I don't like the way we got beat.

"Last year I never worried about us turning the ball over. Centenary got 32 points of our turnovers. Turning the ball over is demoralizing. Centenary was the better team for 40 minutes."

With 1:57 left to play Centenary tied the game at 67-67 on a dunk by Jerrald Bonham.

A free throw by Tyrone Hamilton with 57 seconds left gave Centenary a 68-67 edge. Hamilton stretched the lead to 70-67 with a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left. Hamilton gave Centenary a four-point advantage at 71-67 with 15 seconds remaining.

Center Thomas Pfaff gave the Bisons some hope with a jumper with two seconds left to cut the lead to 71-69.

Hamilton responded with another free throw to seal the game.

In the first half the Bisons led by 11 points at 29-18 on a 3-point shot by point guard Michael Lusk with 8:10 on the clock.

"If we had hit the front ends of our one-and-ones it would have been a 13 or 14 point lead at the half instead of 11," Sanderson said.

But Centenary chipped away to cut the Bisons lead to 33-29 at intermission.

Pfaff went on a short scoring binge for the Bisons in the opening minutes of the second half. He was responsible for the Bisons first eight points, opening a nine-point lead at 41-32 with 17:38 left to play.

The Bisons once again held an 11-point lead at 13:26 when a jump shot by center Jason Hopkins made the score 48-37.

Once again Centenary fought back retaking the lead at 51-50 with 9:30 remaining.

The Bisons took the lead at 60-59 with 6:11 left on a free throw from Hopkins.

The game stayed close with neither team having more than a 3-point lead until the 15-second mark.

Pfaff recorded the Bisons first double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Hopkins led the Bisons with 14 points, hitting five-of-five from the field. Freshman point guard Jimmy Oden added 13 points in 22 minutes.

Hamilton finished with a game-high 23 points. Nick Stallings added 21 points. Bonham chipped in with 13.

"People have been asking me about our team," Sanderson said. "The bottom line is we are totally a work in progress. We have some rough edges. That is just part of it. We are going to play through it."

One of the bright spots for the Bisons was the play of freshman forward Brandon Brown who scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in a reserve role.

"Brandon is a good player," Sanderson said. "I thought he played the best in the first half. He will continue to play more and be more confident."