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December 20, 20151st2ndFinal
Austin Peay395392
Stats at a GlanceAPSULIP
FG Percentage.590 (36-61) .444 (28-63)
3P FG Percentage.364 (8-22) .375 (12-32)
FT Percentage.632 (12-19) .696 (16-23)
Offensive Rebounds108
Defensive Rebounds3019
Total Rebounds4027
Bench Points1610
PointsHorton - 37
MORAN - 22
ReboundsHorton - 13
AssistsDavis - 9
StealsDavis - 2
BlocksHorton - 1
Lipscomb ends pre-Christmas schedule in less than festive fashion
Sunday, December 20, 2015
By Mark McGee
Lipscomb ends pre-Christmas schedule in less than festive fashion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Santa Claus was in Allen Arena Sunday afternoon, but after filling the stockings of the Lipscomb Bisons with 3-pointers in the first half he gave them ashes and switches for the final 20 minutes.

The Bisons watched an eight-point halftime lead disappear into a 92-84 loss to Austin Peay State to close out the pre-Christmas schedule.

After leading 47-39 at the end of the first half the Bisons were outscored 53-37 by Austin Peay in the final 20 minutes.

“It is all too familiar,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “Three of our last four games have been similar.

“Until we can string together 40 minutes of better defense it is going to continue to go this way if we are lucky enough to have 20 good minutes in the first half.”

The Bisons took the first half advantage behind 11 shots from beyond the arc. Lipscomb’s biggest lead in the first half was 31-21 with 6:22 on the clock.

In the second half Austin Peay out-scored Lipscomb 14-6 in the first four-and-a –half minutes of the second half to set the stage for their comeback.

Austin Peay took a 55-54 lead with 14:38 left in the game.

The Bisons tied the game at 70-70 on a layup by J.J. Butler. But Austin Peay would regain the lead at 72-70 on a tip-in by Jared Savage, a lead they did not relinquish the rest of the way.

Austin Peay’s biggest lead was nine points at 88-79 with 2:03 on the clock. With 1:35 remaining Cam Miller scored on a lay-up to pull the Bisons to within four at 88-84.

“Defense was all we talked about at half time,” Alexander said. “I walked in there and said, the only thing I can say is that if you put together 20 minutes of defensive effort, desire, intensity and togetherness then you increase your chances to win significantly.”

Nathan Moran led Lipscomb in scoring with 22 points. J.C. Hampton added 21. Eli Pepper chipped in with 15.

Pepper was also Lipscomb’s leading rebounder with seven. Moran was close behind with six.

Chris Horton shot a game-high 37, hitting 16-of-17 shots from the field for Austin Peay. Josh Robinson scored 21. Khalil Davis finished with 14.

Austin Peay outrebounded Lipscomb 40-27. Horton finished with a game-high 13 boards for Austin Peay to complete the double-double.

“Horton is the best offensive rebounder in the country,” Alexander said. “He averages more than six per game. He was unbelievable scoring. He had it going on both ends. He was the best player on the court by far."

The Bisons are 4-11. Austin Peay, from the Ohio Valley Conference, is 5-7.

“We were a defeated bunch and that is what losing does to you when you start slipping,” Alexander said. “I have praised the effort of our guys all year long.

“When things are going your way you either quit, which I don’t think we have done, or you start pressing. Offensively, that was our problem in the second half. We had guys giving their best efforts to try to rally the team, but they didn’t make solid decisions or take great shots.”

Alexander knows his team has to be better with Atlantic Sun portion of the season starting soon. He has encouraged the players and the coaches to come back after the Christmas break ready to play at a higher level.

“We have to decide what we can all do to improve,” Alexander said. “We want them all to come back with a different mentality. We have to make it happen.”

Herd notes:

  • This was Lipscomb’s first loss to Austin Peay in the NCAA Division I era. The Bisons had won the previous seven games. Overall Austin Peay leads the series 40-32.
  • Pepper’s 15 points were a career-high.
  • Moran scored more than 20 points for the second time this season. He opened the season with a career-high 25 against Santa Clara. Even though he scored 22 points, he did not attempt a 3-point shot in the second half.
  • The 11 made 3-point shots by the Bisons in the first half is a season-high for a half. They only made one 3-pointer in the second half.
  • Hampton has 20-plus points in six games this season.

Up next:

After taking some time off for the Christmas holiday Lipscomb returns to the court Dec. 29 to face Chattanooga at Allen Arena.