DELAND, FLA. – Stetson University connected on 22-of-30 free throws, including 12-of-14 in overtime, to slip past the Lipscomb University Bisons 85-81.
It was the third overtime loss of the year for the Bisons.
Michael Lusk led the Bisons with a career high 22 points, including 13 in overtime. Adnan Hodzic (17) and Josh Slater (14) also scored in double-figures for the seventh consecutive game.
Lipscomb scored their first eight points in the lane and took an early 8-4 lead just three minutes in. Stetson quickly evened the game at eight.
The Bisons went up 24-23 with 6:44 left in the first when Slater scored a fastbreak layup off turnover by Stetson’s Sheldon Oliver.
It would be the last field goal for Lipscomb until Lusk connected on a 3-pointer with 2:05 left to end a 15-1 run by the Hatters.
Lusk’s three started an 8-2 run to cut Stetson’s lead to seven (40-33) at the half.
Slater drained a 3-pointer as time expired on the shot clock to open the second half for the Bisons. Lipscomb opened the period on a 9-2 run with Slater scoring seven of those points.
Hodzic scored a three-point play with 14:18 left to give the Bisons a 47-44 lead.
Lipscomb took a four-point lead, their largest of the half, on two free throws by Josh Slater with 11:42 remaining.
Stetson’s Garfield Blair converted four consecutive free throws to knot the game at 53 with 9:58 on the clock and then A.J. Smith put Stetson up two on a layup off a Michael Lusk turnover.
Eric Diaz capped the 8-0 run for the Hatters with a jumper at the 9:03 mark following another Lipscomb turnover.
Lipscomb responded with a 6-0 run off two layups by Adnan Hodzic and a layup by Thomas Pfaff to go up 59-57 with 5:32 remaining.
Blair tied the game at 59 with two free throws on the next possession. Hodzic gave the Bisons a two point lead with two free throws with 4:07 remaining.
Neither team scored until Kris Thomas gave the Hatters a 62-61 lead with 1:12 left on a 3-pointer. The Bisons turned the ball over three times during the scoring drought.
A.J. Smith nailed two free throws with 11 seconds remaining put Stetson up three (63-61).
Lusk sent the game to overtime with a three with seven seconds left.
Lipscomb took their only lead of overtime when Lusk nailed a jumper on the first possession to go up 66-64.
Stetson went on a 7-0 run to go up 71-66 with 2:04 left. Brian Wright ended the run with a 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining.
Stetson stretched their lead to six before Lusk connected on another three with 40 seconds left to make it 76-73.
Stetson connected on four more free throws before Lusk nailed another three nine seconds later to bring the Bisons within four.
Kris Thomas gave Stetson a five point lead before Lusk hit two free throws to make it an 81-78 game with 22 seconds remaining.
Smith hit two more free throws for the Hatters to bring their lead back to five. Lusk missed a 3-pointer on the other end, but Josh Slater got the offensive rebound and passed it two Lusk who connected on his third three of overtime to make it a two point game (83-81) with eight seconds left.
Blair hit two free throws to give Stetson an 85-81 lead with 5.5 ticks on the clock.
Blair led Stetson with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He was 10-of-10 from the free throw line. A.J. Smith scored 22 for the Hatters. He was seven-of-eight from the free throw line.
Lipscomb shot 31-of-66 (47 percent) from the field. Stetson was 28-of-60 (47.8 percent).
Lipscomb was 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) from the 3-point line, including four-of-nine in the extra period. Stetson finished 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) from downtown after making five attempts in a row over seven minutes in the first half.
Lipscomb was 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from the free throw line. Stetson was 22-of-30 (73.3 percent) for the game and 21-of-25 in the second period and overtime.
Lipscomb falls to 0-5 on the year when making fewer free throws than their opponent.
The Bisons held a 37-34 advantage on the boards. Slater led Lipscomb with nine boards. Four were in overtime.
Slater, Lusk, and Jimmy Oden each had three assists.
Lipscomb turned the ball over 19 times. Stetson had seven steals.
Stetson turned the ball over 13 times while Slater had three of Lipscomb’s seven steals.
Lipscomb drops to 8-12, 4-7 in the A-Sun. Stetson is 9-11, 6-6 in the A-Sun.
Lipscomb and Stetson’s coaching staffs wore tennis shoes during the game as part of Coaches vs. Cancer’s campaign to leverage the strength, community leadership and the celebrity of basketball coaches to raise awareness and in turn, reduce cancer risk through education programs while raising funds for the fight against cancer.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the National Basketball Coaches Association and the American Cancer Society. For more information, please visit www.cancer.org/coaches/.
The Bisons continue their road trip Monday evening against Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers. Game time is 6 p.m.
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/.
Article by Trevor Garrett of the Lipscomb Athletic Office of Media Relations