JACKSONVILLE – Sophomore Jordan Burgason hit seven second half treys but the Bisons were not able to complete their rally from a 16-point first half deficit falling to Jacksonville 79-73 Thursday evening.
Lipscomb’s woes started early. The Bisons (8-8, 5-2 A-Sun) only attempted two field goals in the first 3:33 of the game and turned the ball over three times during the span falling behind 7-1. Lipscomb finished with 20 turnovers.
“I was disappointed in us turning the ball over and over again,” Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said.
The Bisons were quickly back on top after sophomore Brian Wright drained a 3-pointer and juniors Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater had layups to give Lipscomb the 8-7 advantage at the 14:25 mark.
Jacksonville (7-8, 4-3 A-Sun) went on a 19-5 run accented by a fastbreak dunk by Ayron Hardy to put the Dolphins up 33-17 with 3:05 left in the first. Lipscomb shot 2-of-12 and had five turnovers during Jacksonville’s run.
The Bisons closed the first half on a 7-2 run going into the locker room down 35-24.
Burgason almost single-handedly brought Lipscomb back into the game during the second half.
He drained his first 3-pointer on the first possession of the half. He went on to hit three more in the first five minutes to bring the Bisons within one, 41-40 at the 15:13 mark.
“Jordan kept us in there during the second half,” Sanderson said. “We all know how many shots he can make in a hurry.”
Slater went to the line with 14:42 remaining with the chance to give Lipscomb the lead. He missed the first, but made the second to tie it at 41.
With the Bisons down one, Hardy and Ben Smith hit threes and then Hardy had a dunk to give Jacksonville a 59-50 lead with 8:19 remaining.
Lipscomb fought back to make it a five-point game, but Lehmon Colbert hit just his fifth 3-pointer of the season to push Jacksonville’s lead out to 69-61 with 5:21 left.
Hodzic hit two free throws and Slater hit a long ball to bring the Bisons within three, 69-66, at the 4:05 mark.
Hardy drained a three and Ben Smith added a jumper to give Jacksonville the eight point advantage. Hardy hit three 3-pointers against Lipscomb after entering four-of-13 on the season.
Burgason drained his seventh trey of the half then Slater connected on two free throws to cut the deficit to three with 46.6 seconds left.
Burgason finished with 21 points on seven-of-nine shooting, all 3-point shots.
Jacksonville sealed the game by hitting five-of-six free throw attempts.
Hodzic led all scorers with 24 points. It was his 43rd consecutive game in double figures tying the Atlantic Sun record set by Campbell’s Jonathan Rodriguez. Hodzic’s is the longest active streak in the nation.
Josh Slater had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. He grabbed six rebounds and had four steals.
Lipscomb shot 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) from the field. The Bisons were 10-of-25 from downtown. Jacksonville was 33-of-63 (52.4 percent) from the field and 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
The teams each grabbed 34 rebounds. Hodzic led Lipscomb with nine boards while Hardy led the Dolphins with seven rebounds.
Lipscomb remains in Jacksonville to face North Florida Saturday evening at 6 p.m. CT.