NASHVILLE – Sophomore Adnan Hodzic scored a career high 26 points and sophomore Josh Slater posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in Lipscomb University’s 82-76 victory over the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Saturday in Allen Arena.
Florida Gulf Coast jumped out to a five point lead in the first minute with a three-pointer and jumper by Reed Baker on the first two possessions.
The Bisons took a one point lead with 11:01 remaining in the first following a 7-0 run. The Eagles regained their lead on the next possession and held it until Hodzic put the Bisons up 24-22 with 6:32 left in the first.
George Erkvania gave Florida Gulf Coast their last lead of the game connecting on two free throws with 2:50 left in the first to go up 30-29.
Redshirt freshman Brian Wright started a 9-0 Lipscomb run with a tip-in with 1:38 remaining.
Sophomore Jimmy Oden nailed a fast break layup at 1:10 and Slater connected on a three ball on the next possession off a Gulf Coast turnover. Hodzic hit two free throws with 33 seconds left to give the Bisons a 38-30 advantage at the half.
The Bisons continued their run to start the second half by extending their lead to 16 at the 15:16 mark.
Lipscomb held a double-digit advantage until Baker hit a three with 10:15 left to bring the Eagles within nine, 59-50. Lipscomb redshirt sophomore Michael Teller answered with a long ball to extend Lipscomb’s lead back to 12.
The game quickly turned into a free-for-all with the teams being whistled for 20 fouls in the final five and half minutes.
Lipscomb attempted 28 free throws in the stretch connecting on 15.
Point guards Michael Lusk (5:24) and Jimmy Oden (3:47) fouling out forced Slater to slide to the point position where he has seen limited action this year. Fatigue also set in when Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson was forced to play Slater, Teller, Hodzic, Wright, and Brandon Brown without a break following Oden’s foul out.
Lipscomb only connected on seven of their final 20 free throws after Oden’s foul out.
Lipscomb finished hitting 24-of-44 free throws for 54.5 percent. Florida Gulf Coast connected on 17-of-27 for 63 percent.
The Bisons held an 80-70 lead with 58 seconds left, but Florida Gulf Coast cut the lead in half with nine seconds left following a 6-1 run on jumper and layup by Reggie Chambers and two free throws by Ed Rolax.
Lipscomb grabbed a NCAA-era school record 62 rebounds. Florida Gulf Coast had only 38.
“I thought we were active on the backboards,” Sanderson said. “Even in the first half we had 17 offensive rebounds.”
Brown grabbed a season high 11 rebounds to pace the Bisons. Slater had 10 boards, Hodzic added nine, and Teller and Lusk had seven each.
Lipscomb turned the ball over 22 times with Florida Gulf Coast only forcing eight steals. The Bisons forced 16 steals on 19 Florida Gulf Coast turnovers.
Lipscomb shot 39.4 percent from the field while holding Florida Gulf Coast to 35.7 percent.
Wright had a team season-high three blocks.
Lipscomb improves to 6-6, 2-1 in the Atlantic Sun. Florida Gulf Coast falls to 5-9, 1-2 in the Atlantic Sun.
Lipscomb continues a three game home stand Monday night against Stetson. Game time is 8:15 p.m. Stetson is coming off an 82-57 loss at Belmont Saturday.
“Stetson is one of the most physical teams in the league,” Sanderson said. “They play extremely hard and it will be a dog fight. We need to play better Monday than we played today or it could be a long night.”
Jonathan Seamon, Benjamin Seamon, and Justin Seamon will be on the call for the Lipscomb Sports Network. Free online audio streaming is available at www.LipscombSports.com/sportsnetwork/.
Story by Trevor Garrett of the Lipscomb Athletics Media Relations Department