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Thursday, February 11, 2010Life on the road has been good for the Lipscomb Bisons this season.
They enter tonight’s game with USC Upstate at 6:30 at the Hodge Center in Spartanburg, S.C., with a 6-6 road record. The Bisons are 13-11 overall. They are tied for first place in the conference with a 10-5 record. Upstate is 4-19, 4-10 in the conference.
The Bisons will be seeking their fourth straight road win for the first time since the NCAA era began.
“We have played very well on the road,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “We have actually played better on the road than we have at home. That hasn’t been the case over the years, but this season we have been playing better on the road.”
The Bisons are 4-1 overall in the series with Upstate. The only loss for the Bisons in the series was a 57-56 defeat in Spartanburg last season.
There are only five games left in the regular season with several teams still in the running for the first and second seeds in the tournament. Sanderson stresses he can’t worry about anything but the way the Bisons play each game.
“We have to make sure we take care of ourselves, do what we are supposed to do and play at a high level every night,” Sanderson said.
Sanderson points to the Bisons difficult non-conference schedule as one of the reasons the team has been better on the road. Starting off the A-Sun portion of the schedule with a 98-89 road win at Mercer was also a plus.
“It’s all about confidence,” Sanderson said. “Playing in the types of environments we played in during the non-conference schedule helped us. We didn’t win, but we played right there with the majority of those teams.
“Winning the first game at Mercer gave us confidence. We won at Belmont, Campbell and ETSU. We have enough guys with enough leadership that have played enough games in our league that they shouldn’t be rattled or frazzled.”
Sanderson is hopeful that his Bisons packed up the style of play they used Sunday in a 79-61 win over Jacksonville.
“If we can bottle that up every game I like our chances,” Sanderson said. “If we can sustain that effort defensively combined with pretty good offensive efficiency we will be fine.”
The Bisons beat Upstate in Allen Arena 80-66 on Jan. 9. Upstate is led by 7-foot-3 center Nick Schneiders with 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
“They have played everybody to the buzzer,” Sanderson said. “They have won some tough games at home. They are shooting the ball better than they were at the beginning of the year. They haven’t won a lot of games, but they have played everybody to the wire.”
Jacob Arnett, who scored a career-high 13 points in his first collegiate start Sunday against Jacksonville, will get the starting nod at one of the guard spots against Upstate.
“Jacob is a guy who just needs time on the court,” Sanderson said. “He had been playing 15 or 16 minutes for us. Against Jacksonville he played 33.
“He is one of our better perimeter defenders. He is a big, strong kid. He is a good offensive player though you wouldn’t know that by his numbers. But when you put him in the mix with all the other guys offensively, then the things he does well like driving the ball to the basket become an asset for us.”
Center Adnan Hodzic continues to lead the Bisons in scoring with 21.7 points per game, 12th in the nation, and 8.5 rebounds per game. He has recorded double-doubles in his last five games. He also has scored in double figures in 51 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Guard Josh Slater is averaging 17.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. Also averaging in double figures are guard Jordan Burgason with 12.3 points per game and forward Brandon Brown with 11.9.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations