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Lipscomb (10-12, 5-6 ASUN)
North Florida (12-12, 6-5 ASUN)
2/1/2014 | Jacksonville, Fla. | UNF Arena | Attendance: 1083
Saturday, February 01, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Using a stout defensive effort and a refuse to give in attitude, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team downed Atlantic Sun Conference foe North Florida 60-58 on Saturday night at UNF Arena in Jacksonville.
“Tonight was a complete, 40-minute defensive effort,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “We showed a lot of heart and toughness. It wasn’t anything that is going to win any awards but it was enough to get the job done tonight when our offense wasn’t quite as sharp as it’s been here lately.”
The difference in the contest proved to be the 15-foot runner with 45 seconds remaining by redshirt-freshman guard J.C. Hampton. The dagger was nearly identical to the same last-minute, clutch shot the Gainesville, Ga. native hit at ETSU to give the Bisons (10-12, 5-6 A-Sun) a key road win at ETSU.
“J.C. wants to be in that situation,” said Alexander. “He wants the ball and wants to be the guy. It was the same play we ran earlier in the year at ETSU when he had the game winner from virtually the same spot and it goes in.
“Those are the kind of guys you want and we’re fortunate to have him.”
Both teams struggled all night on the offensive end of the floor especially from beyond the arc where the Bisons went 5-for-19 and the Ospreys (12-12, 6-5 A-Sun) were 4-for-16. Lipscomb edged out North Florida 46 percent to 42 percent overall. The teams were not any better at the free-throw line as both squads shot below 60 percent from the charity stripe.
“Baskets were hard to come by and we had a lot of guys make some big plays along the way,” said Alexander. “We had a lot of guys off the bench come in and give us valuable minutes when we were battling foul trouble again. It really was a team effort on both ends of the floor.”
The second half resembled a 12-round heavyweight fight with neither team able to deliver a knockout blow until Hampton delivered the decision maker. The final twenty minutes featured four ties but the largest lead of the half was a four-point advantage the Bisons clung to twice.
The Bisons led by as many as nine points in the opening half before foul trouble sent four of the five starters to the bench allowing the Ospreys to pull within 31-30 at intermission.
Hampton led the Bisons with a 15-point effort including four points in the final 1:35 to help seal the win. He was joined in double figures by senior guard Khion Sankey and freshman guard Josh Williams, who each added 11.
Travis Wallace led the way for North Florida with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds.
With the Ospreys taking away the outside shots for the Purple and Gold, the Bisons were able to get the job done in the paint holding a 34-28 advantage down low.
Combined with Thursday night’s win at Jacksonville, the win over North Florida marks the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Bisons took both ends of a conference road trip. The victory also snapped a six-game skid against the Ospreys that dated back to 2011.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” said Alexander. “To win three games in a row on the road in conference is hard to do. I hope people will take notice and recognize that our guys are giving a great effort and making progress.”
Lipscomb returns home on Thursday night to host USC Upstate at Allen Arena in a contest that is set to air on ESPN3 and 94.9 Game 2. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. To purchase tickets visit: http://www.LipscombTickets.com
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