JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rarely are basketball games defined in the first few ticks of the clock.
Saturday afternoon the Lipscomb University Bisons turned the ball over on each of their first four possessions in an 83-67 loss at Jacksonville University.
While Jacksonville only jumped to a 4-0 lead off the first turnovers, the Bisons struggled throughout the game with the quick athleticism of Jacksonville.
“That certainly set the tone of the game even though we got it back to even,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “When you expend a lot of energy in the first half trying to even it, the message we send to them is to come on and press us because we can’t make you pay for pressing.”
The Bisons were down 11-4 five and half minutes into the game and came back and tied it at 13-13 with 10:40 remaining in the first.
Sophomore forward Brandon Brown contributed 11 points in the first to keep the Bisons within five until 3:40 remaining in the half before Jacksonville stretched their lead to nine at the half.
“I thought he played pretty good,” said Sanderson. “But he has to get more than four rebounds in 29 minutes.”
Brown finished the game with a season-high 17 points to lead Lipscomb.
After dominating the boards for the first six games of the year, Lipscomb’s trend was reversed by Jacksonville as the Dolphins held a 41-25 rebounding advantage.
An 11 offensive rebound advantage for Jacksonville allowed the Dolphins to attempt 64 shots to Lipscomb’s 50.
Lipscomb shot 24-of-50 for 48 percent on the night. Jacksonville hit 33-of-64 for 51.6 percent.
Down the stretch in the second half, the Bisons brought the game to within ten points five times, including as late as 5:09, but each time Lipscomb was not able to stop the Dolphins on the next possession.
“When you turn the ball over 19 times and give them 18 offensive rebounds, that is 37 extra possessions and you are going to get beat,” said Sanderson. “Our point guards had twelve of the nineteen turnovers and a lot of times turnovers at the perimeter are direct baskets on the other end of the court.”
Lipscomb connected on 15-of-20 free throws for 75 percent while Jacksonville only connected on 9-of-18 for 50 percent.
Sanderson stressed that his team has to be able to make changes during the game and not just after seeing their play on video.
“The second key to the game, besides taking care of the basketball, is in an emotional game can you listen and make adjustments,” said Sanderson. “We were listening, but not putting in the changes on the floor.”
Lipscomb falls to 3-4 overall, 1-1 in Atlantic Sun conference play. Jacksonville improves to 2-5 overall and is now in sole possession of first place in the A-Sun at 2-0.
Lipscomb returns home to Allen Arena Tuesday night to face SIU Edwardsville. The evening will be Christmas with the Bisons. Game time is 7 p.m. It will be the final home game until Jan. 3.
Jonathan Seamon and Benjamin Seamon will be on the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network. Free online audio streaming is available at www.LipscombSports.com/sportsnetwork/. The game will also be broadcast on ASunTV at www.ASun.tv.
Story by Trevor Garrett of the Lipscomb Athletics Media Relations Department