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Jacksonville (4-18, 2-9 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (11-12, 6-5 A-Sun)
1/30/2012 | Nashville, TN - (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2424
Monday, January 30, 2012
A few seconds before the tip-off between Lipscomb and Jacksonville one of the referees let some of the air out of the game ball.
Then the Lipscomb Bison deflated any hope of Jacksonville winning with an 82-68 performance Monday night in an Atlantic Sun game at Allen Arena.
Forward Malcolm Smith led the way for the Bison with a game-high 21 points, one short of his season high of 22 against Mercer. He was 6-of-10 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
He credited his teammates, and a higher power, for his success.
“I give glory to God for the way I played,” Malcolm Smith said. “My teammates found me. I knew I needed a big game. This was a make it or break it game for me in my mind.”
For the last several days Malcolm Smith has been returning to Allen Arena around 9 p.m. for some extra work on his free throws and his shots from the field.
“I’ve been in the gym all week working on my own,” he said. “Besides the Mercer game this is probably the best game I have had all season.
“Coach has been on me and telling me we need more guys to produce. As the season has progressed my performance has been inconsistent. This was internal motivation for me. I know what I am capable of and I just had to get back to my agenda. I want to be one of the best players out there.”
Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson credited Malcolm Smith’s hard work both in and out of practice for his performance.
“He deserved to play,” Sanderson said. “He has been paying attention more in practice. He has been more coachable. He is trying to please us in practice. You get rewarded when you work. You get rewarded when you listen. He has done both of those.
“We rewarded him by starting him and he scored 21 big points for us. He has loads of ability. He gets fouled a lot. He had some nice drives to t he basket.”
The Bison jumped out to a 42-27 lead in the first half. With 2:39 left before intermission the Bison opened a 40-20 lead on a lay-up by forward Marvin Williams.
Jacksonville rallied in the second half, pulling to within four points, 59-55, on a jump shot by guard Russell Powell with 10:01 left to play.
With 5:04 on the clock the Bison once again opened up a double figure-lead when guard Jordan Burgason dropped in a 3-pointer for a 71-59 lead.
Burgason finished with 16 points followed by forward Jason Arnett with 15.
Center Justin Glenn led the Bison with seven rebounds and a game-high five blocked shots.
Jacksonville placed four players in double figures. Russell Powell scored a team-high 18 points. Guard Aloys Cabell tossed in 15. Forward Glenn Powell and guard Tevin Galvin each scored 10.
Glenn Powell grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, but the Bison held on for a slight 38-35 advantage on the boards.
“We got off to a good start,” Sanderson said. “But I knew they were going to come back. They weren’t going to quit. They are very dangerous.”
The Bison, 11-12 overall, 6-5 in the A-Sun, close out a string of three home games when Belmont visits at 6 p.m. Friday night for round two of the “Battle of the Boulevard”. Approximately 200 general admission tickets remain for $12 each.
Jacksonville slipped to 4-18 overall, 2-9 in the conference.
The Bison will take Tuesday off and then have two days to prepare for Belmont.
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