Poor shooting, turnovers, and some untimely bad bounces led to Lipscomb’s first conference loss of the season Monday night against Stetson in DeLand Fla. at the Edmunds Center.
The Bisons gave up 57 points in the second half and fell to the Hatters 76-66.
With the loss the Bisons fell to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic Sun. Stetson improved to 4-9 overall and 2-1 in the A-Sun.
Monday night’s loss marked the first time this season the Bisons were defeated by a team that was either not ranked or not from a power conference. Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson said this one hurt more because it was a league game.
“There are no free games in this league,” Sanderson said. “That loss stung. There’s no way around it. That loss stung. It stung our staff, and it stung our players.”
It took over eight minutes for Lipscomb to connect on their first field goal. Bisons center Adnan Hodzic finally broke the draught with a layup at the 11:24 mark of the first half. Lipscomb only hit seven shots from the field in the first 20 minutes and went 1-of-11 from the three-point line.
“The first nine or ten shots we got were great looks at the basket,” Sanderson said. “We just didn’t make them. Thank goodness we defended in the first half and did a decent job to hold them to 25 percent or we would have been further behind.
"To give up 57 points in the second half and for them to out rebound us by seven, and we turned the ball over 17 times against the zone, that’s the hard thing to stomach.”
At halftime Lipscomb trailed 19-18. This marked the fewest points the Bisons have scored in a first half since scoring 18 points against Nebraska on Dec. 22, 2003.
“We didn’t shoot it very well,” Sanderson said. “They did a good job of keeping it out of the middle and if we don’t shoot it well then we are going to struggle a little bit. They did a good job, especially in the first half of keeping it out of Adnan’s hands. We did a little bit better job getting it to him in the second half.”
The Bisons built some momentum at the start of the second half as they went on a 10-3 run to take a 28-22 lead. The Hatters countered with a 13-0 run of their own and took a seven point lead. During that span, Stetson guard Corey Walden scored 12 points. Walden finished the game with 23 points to lead all scorers.
With eight minutes remaining in the second half, the Hatters led the Bisons 48-41. A 10-2 Lipscomb run allowed the Bisons to regain the lead with five minutes remaining. Less than a minute later, Stetson guard Luis Jacobo drained a three pointer to give the Hatters back the lead and the Bisons never led after that.
Hodzic paced the Bisons with 20 points, extending his double-figure scoring streak to 69 games. Lipscomb senior guard Josh Slater also protected his double-figure scoring streak with a 12 point outing. Slater has now scored 10 or more points in 31 straight games. Bisons junior Jordan Burgason went 4-of-11 from behind the arc and finished with 12 points. Senior Michael Teller also added 11 points.
As a team, the Bisons went 22-of-56 from the field (39 percent) and made 8-of-30 three pointers (27 percent). At the free-throw line the Bisons went 14-for-20 (70 percent).
Defensively, the Bisons held the Hatters to 38 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent from the three-point line. Stetson finished 25-of-32 from the free throw line (78 percent).
The Bisons next action comes Wednesday night at Florida Gulf Coast. Tipoff is at 6:30 central. Jonathan and Benjamin Seamon will be on the call beginning at 6:10 on the Lipscomb Sports Network.