|January 23, 2020||1st||2nd||1OT||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||JU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.508 (31-61)||.429 (30-70)|
|3P FG Percentage||.435 (10-23)||.400 (8-20)|
|FT Percentage||.708 (17-24)||.680 (17-25)|
NASHVILLE – Lipscomb and Jacksonville battled for 45 minutes, but when the horn sounded the Bisons ultimately fell to the Dolphins 89-85 in overtime Thursday inside Allen Arena.
Jacksonville got buckets from three different players as the visitors scored the first seven points of overtime to take an 82-75 lead with 2:42 remaining. The Bisons then got a three-pointer from Michael Buckland to open a 7-2 run and get back to within two before JU stretched its lead to five with seven seconds on the clock.
Buckland gave the Bison faithful hope as the senior heaved up a one-handed, off-balanced triple that went in and in the progress was whistled for a foul.
With just three seconds remaining, he purposefully tried to miss the free throw in an attempt to grab the offensive rebound, but the ball never drew iron and he was whistled for stepping across the line too early. Jacksonville’s David Bell sealed the Dolphins victory with a pair of free throws on the other end.
“You have to tip your hat to Jacksonville, they were fantastic,” head coach Lennie Acuff said. “We were hanging on for dear life most of the game as they made play after play. I was talking to their coach before the game and I was telling him I thought they were a really good defensive team. He said he thought so too, but they hadn’t made a shot since Christmas. Well, they did tonight.
“I was really proud of the fight and effort from our guys. I was disappointed for them.”
The shot of the night belonged to Buckland in regulation.
With four ticks to play and the Bisons down three points, he received the ball back following the inbounds and sprinted down court before sinking a game-tying 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.
Buckland was spectacular in the 80th start of his career, finishing just one off his career high. The High Point, North Carolina native scored 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting to lead all Lipscomb scorers. He added to that effort with seven rebounds, three steals and a team-high four treys in a career-high 44 minutes.
“Buck is a great kid and he is a warrior,” Acuff said. “I will go into a foxhole with him any day. He stepped up and made some really good plays right down to the end.”
Buckland was one of three Bisons to score in double figures Thursday night. Sophomore Ahsan Asadullah was equally impressive and finished just two assists shy of a triple-double. The center from Atlanta, Georgia recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight helpers. Freshman KJ Johnson chipped in with 12 points for his best point total of the season in ASUN play.
The Bisons shot 42.9 percent from the floor on 30-of-70 shooting. They added eight triples and went 17-of-25 from the stripe.
Lipscomb scored on its first two possessions and took a 4-0 lead before the Dolphins found their footing. JU scored the next seven points to take its first lead and eventually extended that margin to 10 at the 3:53 mark of the first half. A three from Miles Miller in the final minute got the game back to single digits, sending Lipscomb into the break trailing 42-34.
The Dolphins picked up right where they left off to open the second half, knocking down back-to-back threes to take their largest lead of the game, 54-41, with 16 minutes to play. But like they’ve done all season long, the Bisons battled their way back into the mix.
Asadullah converted on a layup at the 14:26 mark to send the home team on an 11-0 run over the next two minutes, cutting its deficit to two points following a three from freshman Jacob Hobbs. A couple minutes later Buckland put the Bisons back in front 57-56 with a jumper from the elbow. The two sides traded buckets the rest of the way before Bell’s free throws set the stage for Buckland’s late heroics.
“I told the team that so badly I wish I could give them a break,” Acuff said. “We just need a little luck, something to go our way. But what you have to do is go make your luck.”
Lipscomb (7-13, 2-5 ASUN) entered the game on a three-game losing streak and one game ahead of Jacksonville (9-12, 2-4 ASUN) in the league standings. The Bisons had only allowed one conference opponent to reach 80 points this season, while the Dolphins hadn’t scored more than 68 in any their first five ASUN contests.
“Jacksonville was as good tonight as any team we’ve played in the league thus far, including Liberty,” Acuff said. “They made plays all night long and would never let us get a good lead back. The team we played tonight can go play with anybody if they play like that.
“We fought like crazy, but at the end of the day we just made too many mistakes.”
- Lipscomb dished 13 assists in the defeat while only turning the ball over eight times.
- Buckland scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half and overtime. He was just 1-of-4 shooting in the first 20 minutes. He also swiped three of the team’s eight steals.
- The freshman Hobbs finished with a career high nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds.
- Greg Jones also added nine points and four rebounds in 35 minutes.
- Miller totaled six points, while Parker Hazen chipped in three and Andrew Fleming two.
- The 17 made free throws matches the second most the Bisons have made this season.
- Lipscomb scored 16 second chance points from 11 offensive rebounds.
- Jacksonville led the battle on the boards 43-35.
- Bell paced the Dolphins with his ASUN-leading 10th double-double of the season behind 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. He also added three blocks.
- Mo Arnold was one of six Dolphins in double figures, leading the team with 18 points.
- Jacksonville shot a season-high 50.8 percent from the field on 31-of-61 shooting.
- The loss to the Dolphins inside Allen Arena was the first since 2014.
The Bisons get little time to recover as the sharp-shooting North Florida Ospreys come to town on Saturday riding high after defeating ASUN leader Liberty, 71-70, Thursday in Jacksonville. The matchup will get under way at 4 p.m. in Allen Arena.
“All we know to do is keep working and come back fighting on Saturday,” Acuff said. “North Florida leads the country in 3-pointers taken and made. They are really good. Matt Driscoll does a great job. They start four seniors and are a really experienced team.”