Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena the Bisons rolled to an 84-63 win over Stetson.
“You have to win your home games and try to steal some on the road,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “It’s a rough league. It is going to be a dogfight the rest of the way for everybody.”
The Bisons were led by junior center Adnan Hodzic with a game-high 29 points, barely missing his second 30-point performance in a row. Hodzic also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Also scoring in double figures for the Bisons were sophomore guard Jordan Burgason with 18 and junior guard Josh Slater with 16.
The Bisons shot 60.4 percent from the field, including 73.7 percent in the second half. They hit 41.2 percent from 3-point range, making 71.4 percent of their attempts in the second half.
“We have the capabilities of putting five guys on the court that can score,” Sanderson said. “You have to guard every spot. Offense is not our problem.”
Sanderson has been stressing defense in every practice, especially those during the Christmas break. The 63 points for Stetson was the lowest by an opponent against the Bisons this season. They held Southern Illinois Edwardsville to 64 points in a 67-64 win Nov. 28.
The Bisons also held the Hatters to 42.9 percent shooting from the field, hitting 24-of-56 shots. The Hatters were 38.1 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 8-of-21 tries. Twenty-six of the Bisons points came off of turnovers.
“I thought we were better defensively,” Sanderson said. “We haven’t held anybody in the low 40s for awhile. I thought our intensity was better, especially in the first half.”
Sanderson saw one down side to the defensive effort. There were more rebounds in the game and the Bisons were beaten 32-29 on the boards.
“When you defend better there are going to be more missed shots,” Sanderson said. “And we didn’t rebound the ball. Stetson had 15 offensive rebounds.
“We had several possessions where we guarded really, really well and they would get an offensive rebound and get another possession. That concerns me a little bit. Rebounding is part of defense.”
The Bisons broke the game open in the first half with a 10-2 run starting with a tip-in by Hodzic with 9:56 left, turning a 17-15 lead to a 27-17 advantage with 7:53 on the clock.
The Hatters cut the lead to eight, 27-19, on a jump shot by Olivier Dupiton with 6:25 on the clock. It was the last time in the game the Bisons would lead by less than double figures.
The biggest lead of the first half for the Bisons was 15 at 39-24 with 1:19 before the intermission. They led 39-28 at the end of the first half.
Hodzic scored 13 points and Slater added 10 in the first half for the Bisons. Hodzic also pulled down five rebounds. Slater also had four steals in the first half.
The Bisons continued to dominate in the second half. With 12:50 left in the game the Bisons held an 18-point lead, 54-36, when junior forward Brandon Brown hit a pair of free throws.
Burgason sank a 3-pointer with 10:25 remaining to give the Bisons a 20-point lead at 59-39.
The biggest lead for the Bisons was 22 when Slater scored on a lay-up to make it 84-62 with 1:23 left.
Brandon Williams led Stetson with 22 points. Ridge Graham added 12 and A.J. Smith chipped in 10. Smith also led the Hatters in rebounds with seven.
The Bisons are 5-7 overall, 2-1 in the A-Sun. Stetson is 4-7, 1-2 in the conference.
“We have got to get some rest,” Sanderson said. “We will put a curfew on the team tonight. We will be back watching film at 1 Sunday afternoon.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations