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Thursday, February 16, 2006
Feb. 16, 2006
One down, three to go.
Lipscomb's Bisons started their four-game drive for the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title on a successful note Thursday night with an 82-70 victory over Campbell University at tiny Carter Gym in Buies Creek, N.C.
"This is a good environment to play in," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "People here root for their team. This was a great win for us on the road. Our team respects Campbell. I'm very proud of how our guys played."
The victory avenged a 95-91 loss to Campbell at Allen Arena Jan. 4 and moves the Bisons, 13-4, to sole possession of first place. Belmont, which entered the night tied with the Bisons for first, fell at Gardner-Webb, the next stop for the Bisons.
Defense was a key factor for the Bisons as they faced the Camels, the No. 1 scoring team in NCAA Division I. They held the Camels to only 25 first half points, setting the pace for the game. They also held the Camels to 70 points, well-below their average of 83.7. The Bisons also forced Campbell into 23 turnovers which they converted into 30 points.
The 70 points scored by Campbell tied their season low for a game this season.
"To hold that team to 25 points is unheard of in my mind," said Sanderson. "We just did a great job defensively. We held them to 30 percent shooting from the field and 18 percent on 3-point shots in the first half."
Campbell led only one time at 9-8 with 12:42 left in the first half.
It was a game of runs with both teams putting together scoring strings. The Bisons led at halftime 32-25. The 25 points scored by Campbell was their lowest offensive production in a half this season.
The Bisons opened the second half with a 14-5 run. Campbell turned the tables and outscored the Bisons 14-3 to trim the lead to five points at 49-44.
The Bisons twice put together 16-point leads in the second half.
"There is no safe lead against Campbell," said Sanderson. "You have to take care of the basketball because they can shoot threes so quick in transition."
Sophomore forward Eddie Ard put in a strong second half performance for the Bisons, both in terms of scoring and rebounding. He finished with a double-double with 26 points, a season-and-career high, and 10 rebounds, both game highs. It was Ard's third double-double of the season.
Also providing a huge second half boost was senior forward Cameron Robinson who scored eight points in the final five minutes.
"They kept helping up and when you do that someone is going to be open under the basket," said Sanderson. "Cameron does a good job of catching the ball and finishing around the basket. He had some big lay-ups at the end of the game.
"He is a guy that is going to react the same way whether he starts or comes off the bench or plays 12 minutes or 30 minutes. He is one of the reasons why we have been very, very successful."
Senior guard James Poindexter had a big scoring night with 20 points, including five 3-pointers.
"He was on a roll and we were trying to run some plays to him," said Sanderson. "I like the way our team responded. If anybody they deserved it, we deserved it.
Junior guard Trey Williams made a game-and-season-high 10 assists. He also had a game-high and season-high six steals.
The next stop for the Bisons is at Gardner-Webb on Senior Night Saturday.
"It is even a bigger game now," said Sanderson. "Gardner-Webb is a team that when things get going good for them they are awfully good. Gardner-Webb, Belmont and Stetson have been the hottest teams in the league.
"We have one day of preparation. We have our work cut out for us. We like what happened against Campbell, but it needs to happen again Saturday night."
The Bisons are 17-8 overall. Campbell fell to 9-15, 8-9 in the conference.