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#8 North Carolina outlasts strong effort by Bisons 80-66
Josh Slater
Josh Slater

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Lipscomb University Bisons gave the North Carolina Tar Heels a strong challenge Friday night in their season opener before falling 80-66 in front of 16,432 fans at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Bisons presented immediate challenges to the 8th-ranked Tar Heels.  Lipscomb took control of the contest early but the Tar Heels were too much for the Atlantic Sun Conference favorite Bisons.

“I was proud of our team and their effort and the way they battled for 40 minutes tonight,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said.  “North Carolina was extremely long and had great speed and quickness.  I thought we did a very good job defensively against them.”

Senior guard Josh Slater hit two threes to take a 10-4 lead.  Slater went on to score 21 points and bring down nine rebounds, both team highs.

The teams battled back and forth for the first ten minutes of the game before the Bisons were held scoreless for exactly three minutes. Down 25-18 with just under seven minutes to play in the first half, the Bisons put together an 11-2 run to retake the lead on a three by freshman point guard Robert Boyd.

While the Bisons hit critical threes early, they struggled overall from downtown shooting 9-of-29 for 31 percent.  Boyd succeeded beyond the arc hitting three of his four attempts and scoring 13 points in his career debut.

North Carolina took temporary control of the game after the final media timeout of the first half going on an 11-3 run to take a 43-35 advantage into the locker room.  The Tar Heels picked up where they left off in the second period expanding their lead to 50-36 at the 17:27 mark.

After a called timeout by Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson, the momentum seemed to swing in the Bisons favor.  Becoming more systematic with their offense, first by working the paint and then connecting on a pair of threes, Lipscomb went on a 20-9 run to make it a three-point contest, 59-56, with 8:25 to play.

The Bisons turned the ball over on three of its next five possessions allowing North Carolina to regain a double-digit lead with less than five minutes to play.

Atlantic Sun preseason player of the year Adnan Hodzic scored 14 points and had eight rebounds extending his nation-leading streak of scoring in double-figures to 58 contests.  

North Carolina had five players score ten or more led by Tyler Zeller with 15 points. Forward John Henson flirted with a triple-double scoring ten, grabbing a team-high 17 rebounds, and making seven blocks.  

North Carolina outrebounded Lipscomb 48-39 and had ten blocks.

Lipscomb shot a cool 34.9 percent (22-of-63) from the floor and 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the free throw line.  North Carolina shot 47.6 percent (30-of-63).  The Bisons made 17 turnovers which the Tar Heels converted into 22 points.

Lipscomb hosts Stillman College in Allen Arena Monday at 7 p.m.  You can hear all the action on the Lipscomb Sports Network with the “Voice of the Bisons” Jonathan Seamon alongside color analyst Benjamin Seamon.