|November 24, 2014||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||BEL|
|FG Percentage||.441 (26-59)||.563 (27-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.391 (9-23)||.500 (11-22)|
|FT Percentage||.696 (16-23)||.500 (17-34)|
SMITH - 21
SMITH - 6
SMITH - 1
SMITH - 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team dug an early hole that was too much to dig out of despite a valiant effort on Monday night in an 82-77 loss to rival Belmont at the Curb Event Center.
The first half was a tale of three runs. The Bruins opened the contest with a 17-3 run including a trio of 3-pointers to take early command of the contest.
“I told the team in the locker room that the team that was in the locker room last Monday night compared to the team in the locker room tonight is miles and miles apart,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “We have what it takes to be a good team and we have what it takes to be a championship team.
“We can’t make big mistakes and put ourselves in a hole. We have to pursue excellence a lot more than we are right now.”
The Bisons refused to back down despite the deficit and went on a 13-3 run of their own with a pair of bookend treys by sophomore forward Brett Wishon to cut the Belmont lead to one at 20-19.
“The only thing that matters is what the score is in the end,” said Alexander. “There are so many ebbs and flows in a basketball game. Some games more than others and tonight was one of those games. You just have to play through it. You have to play with poise. You have to play regardless of circumstance. You have to be the same team and be diligent in what you’re trying to do.”
Belmont then closed the half on a 14-0 run to take a 41-27 lead into halftime. Lipscomb again got up off the mat in the second half thanks to a surge by senior forward Martin Smith to cut the Bruins lead back to two at 12:08.
Andy Bradshaw then took over for the Bruins and scored 14 points in 3:05 to put Belmont back in front. Bradshaw would finish as the game’s top scorer with a career high 29 on 9-of-14 shooting including a 5-of-7 night behind the arc.
The Bisons were led by twins Malcolm and Martin Smith, who each scored 21 for the Purple and Gold.
“Malcolm had a lot to do with our willingness to stay in the game,” said Alexander. “He and Martin both did and I challenged Martin at halftime and he responded like he’s supposed to. I’m proud of both of those guys.”
Check back later tonight for a full story including video reaction from head coach Casey Alexander.
- Leading scorer Josh Williams scored 11 to finish in double digits for the seventh straight game.
- Lipscomb held a 17-15 advantage in the turnover battle but lost the rebound battle 35-33.
- The Bisons shot a season-best 39.1 percent from beyond the arc hitting 9-of-23.
- Fouling down the stretch, the Purple and Gold were whistled for a season-high 29 fouls.
- Lipscomb held an advantage at the charity stripe hitting 16-of-23 for 69.6 percent, while Belmont hit 17-of-34 for 50 percent.
- Sophomore forward Brett Wishon lost a tooth in the second half when he was fouled by Belmont’s Evan Braddos, who was issued a technical foul for the harsh play.
Up next: The Bisons will take a short break for Thanksgiving before hitting the road for a Sunday contest at Colorado. The 1 p.m. contest against the Buffaloes is set to air on the PAC-12 network and locally on 94.9 Game 2.