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ETSU (2-12, 0-1 ASUN)
Lipscomb (6-8, 1-2 ASUN)
1/5/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 1722
Saturday, January 05, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Returning home to the friendly confines of Allen Arena for the first time in nearly a month, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team downed ETSU 60-56 in the Atlantic Sun Conference home opener on Saturday night.
The Bisons (6-8, 1-2 A-Sun) got a season-high 19 points from senior guard Deonte Alexander including 11 in the second half to fight off a resilient Buccaneer (2-12, 0-1 A-Sun) squad.
“You can’t simulate that kind of pressure down the stretch in practice,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “We rallied around ourselves and made some free throws late but we’re a work in progress. We understand our limitations offensively and defensively but we’re trying to get better.
“Sometimes winning a close game can give you a shot in the arm. Even if it’s an ugly win and I hope this game does that.”
After leading 28-19 at the half, the Bisons pushed the lead out to 11 points early in the second half before ETSU used a 9-0 run to tighten the game back up. The game remained close the rest of the way but the Bisons took the lead for good on a jumper from Alexander with 9:28 to go.
An Achilles heel for much of the season, the Bisons went 18-for-26 from the free throw line including 5-of-7 in the final two minutes to seal the win.
Along with Alexander’s 19, redshirt freshman center Stephen Hurt posted his fifth double-double of the season scoring 17 points and adding 13 rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes of action. Lester Wilson led ETSU with a 16-point night.
Behind the bakers dozen boards from Hurt and nine more from junior guard Khion Sankey, the Bisons won the rebound battle 39-28.
With the victory, Bisons head coach Scott Sanderson notched his 300th career win but gave the credit to the cast surrounding him.
“I’ve had really good players,” said Sanderson. “I’ve never won a game my whole career. I’ve been very, very fortunate to coach with a lot of good guys both on and off the floor. That means more to me that the win tonight.”
The Bisons continue home A-Sun action on Monday hosting USC-Upstate at 5 p.m. The game was originally slated for 7:15 p.m. but was moved up to avoid conflict with the BCS national championship game. To purchase tickets logon to http://www.lipscombtickets.com
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