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USC Upstate (8-7. 2-0 ASUN)
Lipscomb (6-9, 1-3 ASUN)
1/7/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 1112
Monday, January 07, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team got a look at what the top portion of the Atlantic Sun Conference looks like and it wasn’t a pretty view.
The Bisons allowed USC Upstate to score on its first six possessions and then struggled to score early after holding Upstate scoreless on five straight possessions. Upstate’s momentum never wavered on the way to a 98-61 win over the Bisons Monday evening at Allen Arena.
Upstate evened its record at 7-7, 1-0 in the A-Sun. Lipscomb is 6-8, 1-2 in the conference.
“We knew they were a very explosive offensive team,” Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said. “They got in a rhythm offensively. The basket was big. And when that happens it is going to snowball on you.
“We didn’t play good at all offensively. And we played even worse defensively. We have to be able to have more grit to compete at a higher level.”
Upstate never trailed in the game placing five players in double figures. Guard Adrian Rodgers led the way with 20 followed by guard Ty Green with 19, guard Mario Blessing with 16, forward Torrey Craig with 12 and forward Ricardo Glenn with 11.
Upstate shot 15-of-27 shots from 3-point range with Blessing hitting all five of his attempts and Green hitting five-of-10.
The Spartans hit 57.4 percent from the field. The Bisons made 36.5 percent of their attempts.
“Upstate did a good job defensively,” Sanderson said. “They made a bunch of shots. And when the other team makes a bunch of shots like that it sucks the energy out of you defensively, especially when you have a young team.”
Sanderson was concerned with the way his team responded when the tide of the game turned against them.
“How do we respond when things don’t go our way?” Sanderson asked. “It goes back to how we respond when it is a 12-or-14-point game and not when it is a 30-or-40-point game. We have been very inconsistent in rallying when we have been punched in the mouth like we were tonight.”
Upstate also dominated the boards holding a 37-to-23 edge as the Bisons were outrebounded for only the third time this season. Glenn paced Upstate with eight boards. Guard Khion Sankey led Lipscomb with four.
“We are two of the best rebounding teams in the league and they out-rebound us by 14,” Sanderson said. “That was a big thing.”
LU freshman guard John Ross Glover came off of the bench for the Bisons to lead the team with a career-high 16 points. Forward Malcolm Smith chipped in 12.
The offense struggled, but defense is always an emphasis for Sanderson and he knows his team has to step up in that area.
“If the game gets up in the 80s we are not going to win,” Sanderson said. “The game has to be in the 70s or below to give us a chance to win.
“Upstate scored 16 points in the first four minutes of the game. We were playing all kinds of stuff to try to slow them down. But when a good offensive team gets on a rhythm they can put a hurting on you and that is what they did to us.”
The Bisons are on the road Jan. 11 at Northern Kentucky for the first of three straight A-Sun road games.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.
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