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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
July 10, 2007
Their home court in Allen Arena is where the wins are for the Lipscomb Bisons basketball team.
But Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson had a difficult time finding teams willing to make the trip to Allen Arena for the 2007-2008 season.
The Bisons play their first home game of the regular season Nov. 26 when Samford, from the Ohio Valley Conference, visits Allen Arena for the first time. McNeese State stops at Allen Arena Nov. 29. Arkansas Tech visits Dec. 3.
"With a 16-game league schedule it made it very difficult to schedule 13 non-conference games and even more difficult to schedule home games," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "I would much rather play at home than on the road."
The Bisons warm up for the regular season with a pair of exhibition games at Allen Arena. Tusculum College visits Nov. 1 and Freed-Hardeman comes to campus Nov. 5.
The Bisons open the regular season Nov. 8-9 at Iowa State's Tournament in Ames, Iowa. Also in the field are Winston-Salem State and Centenary.
From Nov, 15-17 the Bisons will make the short drive to Murfreesboro to play in Middle Tennessee State's Tournament. Rounding out the field are San Jose State and Appalachian State.
The Bisons travel to West Lafayette, La., Nov. 20 to face Purdue.
On Dec. 8 the Bisons return to Memorial Gym to play Vanderbilt for the second year in a row. That game is the first of six straight games on the road to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule.
The Bisons play three straight games in Louisiana starting with Nichols State in Thibodaux Dec. 15, Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond Dec. 17 and McNeese State in Lake Charles, La.
A Dec. 29 trip to Huntington, W.V., is also scheduled as the Bisons face Marshall for the first time ever.
"We have some good balance," Sanderson said. "Three of the non-conference road games are at natural sites. We have good games against Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Marshall and Samford. We have a couple of games with high major programs and several games against teams at our level. I just wish more of them were at home.'
The A-Sun portion of the schedule also has a different look with the conference playing a divisional format this season.
"We are playing everyone in our division twice and the teams in the other division once," Sanderson said. "We play three of the non-divisional teams at home and three on the road. I think it is hard to crown a true regular season champion because everyone is playing a different schedule."
The Bisons will play home games against Belmont with the "Battle of the Boulevard" set for Jan. 12, followed by USC Upstate (Jan. 17), ETSU (Jan. 19), Gardner-Webb (Feb. 28) and Campbell (March 1). The Belmont game is already on the CSS-TV schedule.
The Bisons will play five divisional opponents on the road with trips to Campbell (Jan. 3) and Gardner-Webb (Jan. 5) to start the A-Sun part of the schedule. They will make their first visit to USC Upstate Feb. 14 followed by ETSU (Feb. 16) and Belmont in the second edition of the "Battle of the Boulevard" on Feb. 23.
The Bisons will host Stetson (Feb. 2), North Florida (Feb. 7) and Jacksonville (Feb. 9). On the road the Bisons will play non-divisional games against Mercer (Jan. 24), Kennesaw State (Jan 26), and a first trip to Florida Gulf Coast Jan. 31.
The Atlantic Sun Tournament will be played at Allen Arena March 5-8.
"It will be a very challenging schedule, but we are looking forward to it," Sanderson said. "Having the conference tournament at home the next two years will hopefully be a major benefit for us."