|December 17, 2019||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||TTU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.426 (23-54)||.509 (28-55)|
|3P FG Percentage||.333 (8-24)||.440 (11-25)|
|FT Percentage||.353 (6-17)||.647 (11-17)|
ASADULLAH - 8
Vick - 2
BUCKLAND - 1
COLEMAN - 1
MERRITT - 1
ASADULLAH - 1
MILLER - 1
NASHVILLE – Staring up at a 14-point deficit midway through the first half, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team exploded over the final 30 minutes to earn a big 78-60 comeback victory over in-state rival Tennessee Tech Tuesday night in Allen Arena.
“I told the guys at halftime that we looked like a team that had played one game in 14 days,” head coach Lennie Acuff said. “But I think you have to tip your cap to Tennessee Tech, I thought they came ready to play and had good energy. They really got us on our heels in the first 10 minutes.
“I thought we played a lot cleaner in the second half. We shot 44 percent from three, if we do that we can play with a lot of people.”
The Bisons had five players in double-figures, led by 16 points from freshman KJ Johnson for his eighth double-digit output of the season. Senior Michael Buckland produced his best game of the season with 14 points and a season-high eight rebounds. Andrew Fleming and Greg Jones recorded 12 points each, while Ahsan Asadullah chipped in 11.
“I thought the guy that really, really helped us tonight off the bench was Greg Jones,” Acuff said. “I am proud of him because he didn’t get off to a fast start this year, but he’s rallied and was a big key in the game.”
Following a nine-day layoff between games, the Bisons needed some time to find a rhythm. Sophomore guard Hunter Vick hit TTU’s fifth three-pointer in 11 minutes for the Golden Eagles to cap a 10-2 run and put Tennessee Tech in front 27-13, its largest margin of the night.
In that span Lipscomb coughed up the ball nine times and missed a handful of attempts from close distance.
With 7:45 remaining in the first half, the veteran Buckland knocked down his first of a team-high four triples to spark an 11-0 Lipscomb run to get the game back to one possession. Freshman Kaleb Coleman and Fleming also connected from long distance amidst the spurt.
The Bisons closed the first half on a 20-10 run to cut their deficit to 37-33 as the teams headed into the locker room.
With Johnson leading the charge behind 13 second-half points, Lipscomb came out of the break and put its foot on the gas. Asadullah deposited seven points in a 14-0 run that put the home team up 53-46 after trailing by five with 14 minutes on the clock.
Less than two minutes later, Johnson buried a triple and knocked down three free throws to spark another 10-2 Lipscomb run. He then scored five straight points in 73 seconds to put the Bisons up 15 and the game out of reach.
“We started off kind of slow in the first half, but I feel like we really came together as a team when started moving the ball and knocking down our shots in the second half,” Johnson said.
““It’s been a tough adjustment (to the college game), but I feel like I am improving more and more every day. Coach Acuff is really helping me through that, he’s encouraging me every day even when I have bad days.”
The Bisons did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half, only turning it over six times compared to 11 in the first 20 minutes. They also forced Tennessee Tech into 10 miscues after halftime and turned those into 12 points.
The win improves Lipscomb to 5-6 on the year, while Tennessee Tech dropped to 3-8.
- After falling behind 14 in the first half, the Bisons outscored Tennessee Tech 65-33 the rest of the way, including 45-23 over the final 20 minutes.
- Lipscomb shot 28-of-55 from the field (51%), 11-of-25 from deep (44%) and 11-of-17 from the charity stripe (65%).
- Buckland’s eight rebounds was just one off his career high of nine vs. Emory in 2017.
- Despite having gone 0-for-7 over his last four games from three-point range, Buckland matched his season high with a 4-of-6 effort.
- Going along with his 11 points, Asadullah grabbed eight boards and dished a team-high five assists. Nearly all of that came in the second half after having two points, three rebounds and one assist at the break.
- It marks the sixth-straight game, and the ninth overall, that Asadullah scored in double figures this season.
- Coming off a career-high 15 points against Trevecca, Greg Jones posted another big game with 12 points and a pair of triples. He now has seven makes from deep in the last two games.
- The Bisons outrebounded the Golden Eagles 36-31 and grabbed seven on the offensive end.
- The Bisons had six steals and four blocks and scored 30 points in the paint.
The Bisons go on the road to Vermont for a 6 p.m. tip Friday in Burlington.
"This is not an easy schedule, but we are going to be better for it at the end of the day," Acuff said.