|December 03, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||Lips||BEL|
|FG Percentage||.449 (31-69)||.509 (29-57)|
|3P FG Percentage||.250 (7-28)||.357 (10-28)|
|FT Percentage||.857 (6-7)||.750 (12-16)|
Wolfe - 3
Murphy - 2
Benkert - 1
Muszynski - 1
Adelsperger - 1
NASHVILLE – Senior Andrew Fleming led the way for the Bisons on Tuesday night with a career-best 20-point effort in the 146th renewing of the “Battle of the Boulevard” but it would not be enough as the Lipscomb men’s basketball team dropped an 80-75 nonconference contest to Belmont at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lipscomb has now dropped the last four meetings between the programs, despite being within two possessions in the final minute of each.
“I am really proud of our team,” head coach Lennie Acuff said. ““I watched us on film last night from the last time we played them, and we’ve really grown exponentially. We are playing a lot of young guys and a lot of freshman, and they all just keep improving each time out.
“Neither me or the team are used to losing, it’s hard. But I promise you, when we get to January, we’re going to be a tough out.”
Fleming shot 8-for-13 from the field and scored 12 of his points in the second half. The guard also nailed a team-high three triples and pulled down four rebounds.
Belmont (6-3) scored eight straight points in the opening minutes to take a 12-6 lead before the Bisons started leaning on their strengths down low. Behind Ahsan Asadullah’s four early buckets, Lipscomb (3-6) scored 16 of its next 20 points in the paint en route to a 20-6 run that gave the Bisons their largest lead of the night at 26-18 with 8:35 to play in the first half.
Midway through the frame, Asadullah was forced to the sideline after picking up a pair of fouls 41 seconds apart. Belmont took advantage and quickly evened the score after a pair of makes from deep, but Jake Wolfe buried a jumper that send the Bisons into the break with a 38-36 lead.
After shooting just 25 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, Belmont was finally able to connect in the final 20 minutes. The Bruins took the lead for good with a 14-3 run, despite another tough showing from the Bisons down the stretch.
““We don’t quit, we keep coming back,” Acuff said. “We just went through droughts where we couldn’t score and that makes it tough on everyone. Belmont has so much offense. They throw a lot of pressure on you because they keep five guys out there that can make threes.”
Belmont took its largest lead of the game at 71-58 with just under three minutes to play, but the purple and gold never quit. Fleming and KJ Johnson carried the offense from there with a combined 12 points, and eventually got Lipscomb back to within four on a layup with 21 seconds on the clock, but the home team sunk all four of its free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the victory.
“I feel good about where we are,” Acuff said. “We are making progress and we keep improving. We want to be a good team when we get into conference play.”
- Lipscomb shot 45 percent (31-of-69) from the field, 25 percent from deep (7-of-28) and 86 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-7).
- The Bisons dominated the paint 44-30 and snatched nine offensive rebounds compared to only five for Belmont.
- Senior Michael Buckland returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 20 and recorded 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
- Asadullah was plagued by foul trouble throughout, but still managed to pour in 15 points and grab a team-high eight boards. He shot 7-of-11 from the floor.
- Led by three each from Buckland and Wolfe, Lipscomb swiped a season high nine steals.
- The Bruins held a slight 35-33 edge in rebounding.
- Sophomore Adam Kunkel led Belmont with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including four threes. He was one of four Briuns in double figures.
Lipscomb gets a few days off for exam week before returning to the hardwood at 4 p.m. Sunday when the Bisons host Trevecca. It will be their first game in Allen Arena in nearly three weeks.