|November 12, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||TSUM|
|FG Percentage||.500 (27-54)||.542 (32-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.350 (7-20)||.364 (8-22)|
|FT Percentage||.708 (17-24)||.538 (7-13)|
MARSHALL - 1
LITTLEJOHN - 1
NASHVILLE – Despite having a double-digit lead in the first half, the shorthanded Lipscomb men’s basketball team dropped a heart wrenching 79-78 contest to Tennessee State Tuesday night at the Gentry Complex.
In their first road game of the year, the Bisons (1-2) shot 50 percent from the floor and led by as many as 11 points in the opening 20 minutes, however, a second-half surge from the Tigers (2-1) completely flipped the game and put Lipscomb behind 12 points with three minutes to play. That is when KJ Johnson took over the game and nearly pulled the Bisons from the depths of despair.
The freshman lefty found success from inside the paint, from beyond the arc and at the charity stripe before driving from the left wing and banking a shot off the window with seven seconds remaining to put Lipscomb on top 78-77. TSU’s Michael Littlejohn then took the ensuing inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor to sink a floater with 0.1 second on the clock, handing the Bisons their second-straight loss in the final moments.
Without big man Ahsan Asadullah on the floor, the Bisons ran their offense through Michael Buckland. The senior scored a season-high 14 points, including four big makes from long distance, but was forced to sit at times with foul trouble.
Johnson came off the bench to score 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. Nine of those came in the final 2:01 of action.
In a game that had its sloppy moments throughout, the Bisons were really clicking midway through the first half. Over a stretch of two minutes, five different players got in on the action to mount an 11-2 run for the Bisons. Buckland capped the run with his second three of the night to give Lipscomb its largest lead at 34-23.
In the final six minutes of the first half, the Tigers reeled in three offensive rebounds and Littlejohn knocked down three of his six triples to send Lipscomb into the locker room with a 44-40 advantage.
Tennessee State opened the second half with a 15-6 run, highlighted by a three from West Virginia transfer Wesley Harris, to take a 55-50 lead over the Bisons.
The Tigers dominated the boards 23-13 after halftime, including eight on the offensive end, and scored 10 second chance points to help build their largest lead of the game at 13 before the Bisons comeback bid.
Littlejohn scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Tigers, while Jy’lan Washington pulled down a double-double behind 11 points and 13 rebounds.
- Lipscomb shot 50 percent from the floor, making 27 of 54 attempts, while TSU hit 54.2 percent on 32 of 59 shooting.
- The Tigers went 8 of 22 from behind the arc and the Bisons hit 7 of 20.
- The Bisons got to the free throw line 24 times, hitting 17 for a 71 percent clip. TSU was just 7 of 13.
- For the first time this season the Bisons were outrebounded, 38-22. The Tigers scored 13 points off of 14 offensive boards, compared to just five points on six rebounds for Lipscomb.
- Buckland and Johnson were joined in double figures by senior guard Andrew Fleming and junior transfer Parker Hazen – who was making his first-career start for the Bisons in Asadullah’s absence.
- Hazen went 5 of 7 from the field and pulled down a team-high four rebounds.
- Fleming led the Bisons in assists for the third consecutive game, dishing a career-high five dimes.
The Bisons take a trip to the Steel City where they will matchup with Atlantic 10 foe Duquesne at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPN+.