Bisons drop season opener to Elon 91-86
Saturday, November 14, 2009
By Trevor Garrett
Bisons drop season opener to Elon 91-86
Lipscomb University jumped out to a 16-7 lead behind 13 early points from Brandon Brown, but the Bisons were not able to overcome a strong shooting performance by Elon University as Lipscomb fell 91-86 in their season opener Saturday evening in Allen Arena.

Elon shot 50.7 percent from the field for the game and 57.6 percent in the second half.  Elon also shot 13-of-22 for 59.1 percent from the 3-point line.

“When you score 86 points I think you should win,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson.  “We weren’t very good defensively tonight.  They got whatever shot they wanted to get.”

Brown and Adnan Hodzic scored 26 points each to lead the Bisons.  Brown and Hodizc combined to go 22-of-37 from the field.  The rest of the Bisons were 10-of-37.

Josh Slater added 17 points and had a career-high 13 rebounds.  Hodzic grabbed 12 rebounds.

Lipscomb outrebounded Elon 50-32 including holding a 21-7 advantage on the offensive boards.

Brown scored the first basket of the season for Lipscomb on a layup on the Bisons first possession.  He added five more quick baskets to give Lipscomb the early 16-7 lead less than five minutes into the game.

Drew Spradlin and Elon countered with an 11-0 run to go up 18-16 with 12:59 left in the first half.  Spradlin connected on three 3-pointers in the stretch and Josh Bonney added a fastbreak layup.  The remainder of the half was a back-and-forth affair with nine lead changes and nine times.

“They collapsed us on dribble penetration,” said Sanderson.  “They just collapsed us defensively and kicked out for 3-pointers.”

Elon took a 41-38 advantage into the break.  They scored 13 of their first half points off ten Lipscomb turnovers.

“We have to do a better job taking care of the basketball,” said Sanderson.  “We haven’t done that.  We had 18 turnovers including ten in the first half.”

A jumper by Elon’s Josh Bonney started a 7-0 run to put the Bisons down 12 (59-47) with 15:39 left in the game.

Lipscomb cut Elon’s lead back to five points with 11:45 left a 3-pointer by Josh Slater and jumpers by Brian Wright and Brown.  Two free throw shots by Slater with 10:59 put the Bisons within four points, 63-59.

After nearly two minutes of no offense by either team, Lipscomb defense had a key deflection to create a loss ball.  The Bisons were not able to gain control and Elon’s Terrance Birdette connected on a 3-pointer to put Elon back up seven with 9:04 left.

Elon used an 8-0 run capped by a put back dunk by Adam Constantine to bring their lead back to 13 (74-61) with 5:52 remaining.

The Bisons were not ready to go away going on a 9-0 run over 1:11 to make it a 76-72 ballgame.   Spradlin connected on his 6th 3-pointer of the evening to end the run with 3:20 left.

Slater connected on a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to put Lipscomb within three points (87-84).  The Bisons fouled with 26 seconds on the clock.  Bonney drained two free throws but Hodzic scored on the next possession after missed 3-point attempts by Slater and Wright.

Spradlin hit two free throws to seal the game for Elon.

“We had a shortened bench with a couple kids not playing tonight and that shortened our rotation,” said Sanderson.  “Sometimes when you are fighting that hard to get over a deficit, when you get right there, you are too tired to close them out.”

Slater finished the game with 17 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 31 minutes of action

Bison point guards Lee and Zach Brown combined for six assists and six turnovers.

Lipscomb’s advantage on the offensive boards led to a 21-12 advantage on second chance points.

Booney led Elon with 24 points off the bench.  Spradlin contributed 23 points.  Booney and the Elon bench outscored Lipscomb’s reserves 35-13.

The Bisons travel down the road to Memorial Gymnasium Monday evening to face off with the Vanderbilt Commodores.  Game time is 7 p.m.  All the action can be heard live on the Lipscomb Sports Network at beginning with the Countdown to Tipoff at 6:45.