NASHVILLE, TENN. – It has been over ten years since confetti shot through the air at a Lipscomb basketball game.
Fifty seconds into Thursday evening’s “Battle of the Boulevard” between Lipscomb and Belmont, the confetti was flying when Lipscomb’s Brandon Brown scored the first two points of the game.
A little over two minutes later, the Bisons had jumped to a 9-3 lead on their way to a 73-68 win over the Bruins in front of 4,778 screaming fans in Allen Arena.
Lipscomb closed out 2008 with a road win at Indiana and then kicked off the New Year with a six-point win over Florida Gulf Coast. The momentum didn't continue though as the Bisons lost seven games in January and February by an average of 3.6 points.
“We needed a close win to get the ultimate confidence especially against a very good team like Belmont,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson.
Lipscomb’s win snapped a three-game losing streak against Belmont and gave Lipscomb their fourth win the last six games.
Sophomore Adnan Hodzic dominated the court for the Bisons posting 28 points and grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds.
“He was terrific,” Sanderson said. “He went and rebounded balls out of his area and he created a lot of space on the low post which allowed Michael Teller and Mike Lusk to step up and make some three pointers.”
Teller and Lusk connect on three 3-pointers each and combined to go five-of-six in the second half from downtown.
Lipscomb had 22 assists on 29 baskets but Sanderson still saw room for improvement.
“We have to eliminate those last 15 minutes of the first half when we are just standing,” Sanderson said. “When we are standing, they can guard our perimeter guys and Adnan both.”
The Bisons held a lead as large as six in the first half. Belmont rallied late in the first half. They took their first lead of the night on a layup by Alex Renfroe with 5:21 left in the first to go up 25-24.
Lipscomb regained the lead but the Bruins closed the first half on an 11-0 run to go up 36-27 at the half.
The Bisons retook the lead 44-43 with 14:52 remaining on a layup by Hodzic. The Bruins never led again.
Belmont cut the game to one point with 21 seconds on the clock with a free throw by Shane Dansby. Jimmy Oden closed out the game by connecting on four consecutive free throws, including two to put the Bisons up by five with 6.9 seconds left.
Lipscomb shot 27-of-57 (47.4 percent) from the field. Belmont was 27-of-66 (40.9 percent).
Lipscomb shot a cool 2-of-11 from the 3-point line in the first half, but shot a stellar 7-of-10 in the second half to finish shooting 42.9 percent for the night.
Belmont shot the exact opposite of Lipscomb from the 3-point line. The Bruins opened making 7-of-17 in the first before hitting just 4-of-18 in the second half to finish hitting 31.4 percent from downtown on the evening.
Lipscomb held a 39-34 advantage on the boards and a 34-18 advantage for points in the paint.
Teller led Lipscomb with five assists. Josh Slater, Lusk, and Oden each had four assists.
Renfroe led Belmont with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Lipscomb improves to 10-13, 6-8 in the A-Sun. Belmont falls to 14-9, 10-4 in the A-Sun.
The Bisons are back in action Saturday afternoon in Allen Arena for Homecoming against USC-Upstate. Game time is 2 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