December 21, 20141st2ndFinal
Austin Peay243963
Stats at a GlanceAPSULIP
FG Percentage.377 (20-53) .467 (21-45)
3P FG Percentage.150 (3-20) .381 (8-21)
FT Percentage.741 (20-27) .760 (19-25)
Offensive Rebounds117
Defensive Rebounds1825
Total Rebounds2932
Bench Points124
PointsFREEMAN - 15
ReboundsFREEMAN - 11
AssistsROBINSON - 3
StealsHORTON - 2
BlocksFREEMAN - 2
LANG - 1
Williams' 21 lifts men's hoops over Austin Peay
Sunday, December 21, 2014
By Mark McGee
Williams' 21 lifts men's hoops over Austin Peay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If you are going to repeat a game plan to the letter it is always best if it produced a win the first time around.

Sunday afternoon the Lipscomb men’s basketball team and Austin Peay played a game that was virtually a play-by-play repeat of the previous game between the two teams in Clarksville Dec. 13.  The Bisons prevailed this time around 69-63 at Allen Arena. The first meeting this season at the Dunn Center was a 68-59 victory for the Bisons.

“In both games our defensive numbers were good,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “It was the same formula we had for the game up there. We led for most of the game. They came back and tied it. It was anybody’s game at the last media timeout and we came out and made more plays.

“That is good. But you would rather be more consistent from start to finish.”

The Bisons controlled the game most of the way, but allowed Austin Peay to tie the game at 51-51 with 6:44. The Bisons were leading 50-40 at 10:16 but allowed the Govs to go on an 11-1 run.

“You are not going to shut anybody out,” Alexander said. “That is a given. But you need to make them earn what they get.

“We have too many breakdowns…real fundamental breakdowns. My job as a coach is to make sure we are in the right place to defend and then it is up to them to perform. Right now neither one of us is doing those things.”

But the Bisons never lost the lead or composure the rest of the way.

“That is probably the result of being down so many times in the young season,” Alexander said. “We have seen ourselves battle back from adversity plenty of times.”

Josh Williams scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Bisons. Joining Williams in double figures were Brett Wishon with 14 points, Malcolm Smith with 11 and Nathan Moran with 10.

Talbott Denny led the Bisons on the boards with eight rebounds. Austin Peay’s Chris Freeman finished with a game-high 11.

The numbers are nice but Alexander wants to see his team play a smoother game overall.

“We are not in synch at all,” Alexander said. “There is very little rhythm to our team over the course of a game or over the course of a week.

“We have seen it all year long where we have been able to play in spurts and we have had our moments where we will look really sharp and put something together. But there are too many segments in every game, win or lose, where they just lose focus or do something out of character. As the season goes on you have to start to minimize those kinds of mistakes if you want to have expectations to be a good team.”

Alexander wants his players to enjoy the Christmas break, but he knows there is a lot of work to be done when the team returns to campus. There are three more nonconference games remaining before the Atlantic Sun portion of the season begins.

Alexander stresses it is all about players making a conscious effort to do what they need to do.

“That begins with some individual accountability,” Alexander said. “You have to know what your role is, be willing to perform that role and do what is expected of you. That role is different for everybody. If everybody just pulls their weight a little bit better the cumulative effect of that will be significant.

“Very few times have we said we are not playing hard and that we don’t care. It is not that. There is a big difference in effort and effort to execute.”

Freeman led the Govs with 15 points followed by Chris Horton with 13 and Ed Dyson with 11.

The Bisons are 5-7 heading into the Christmas break. Austin Peay drops to 4-8.

“I want them to get home and enjoy the break,” Alexander said. “I want them to acclimate themselves to family and friends they haven’t seen in a while. When all of us can get away and focus on those things I think it a real blessing."

 Alexander’s New Year’s wish for his team is a simple one.

“I want them to come back with a renewed purpose and be a little more committed to the second half of the season," Alexander said. “It is not so much understanding. It is not so much about effort.

"It is doing your job. Not statistically, but being where you are supposed to be on either end of the court at any time. Are you there? Are you alert? And are you ready to perform your role?”

Herd notes:

  • Williams has scored 20 or more points in seven games this season.
  • Malcolm Smith has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games.
  • Wishon connected on four 3-pointers, all in the second half.
  • The Bisons are 7-0 against Austin Peay in the NCAA Division I era since the series resumed in 2010.

Next up;

The Bisons will be back in action Dec. 29 at Chattanooga.