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Monday, February 28, 2011The Game
The Lipscomb University Bisons (17-12, 12-8 A-Sun) open postseason play with a rematch of their final regular season game against the Mercer Bears (14-17, 11-9 A-Sun) in the 2011 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Championship. Lipscomb is the No. 4 seed while Mercer, the host of the tournament, is the No. 5 seed. The game is set to tip at approximately 8 p.m. central time Thursday night at the University Center in Macon, Ga.
Lipscomb and Mercer met twice during the regular season with each team winning on its home court. Lipscomb defeated Mercer 77-65 in Allen Arena on Dec. 4 to open Atlantic Sun Conference play. Adnan Hodzic scored 28 points on 10-of-12 shooting while Josh Slater posted 21 tallies. Mercer opened the game hitting 7-of-9 three-point attempts in the first ten minutes but finished the game 2-of-19 from beyond the arc. Lipscomb scored 40 of its points in the paint and 28 of its points came off Mercer turnovers, including 21 in the second half.
Saturday evening the Bisons lost 68-67 to the Bears at the University Center. The Bisons connected on only 17-of-46 shot attempts (37.0%) and only hit three shots from behind the arc (16.7%). The lead changed 10 different times between the two teams and neither team led by more than eight points. Josh Slater led the Bisons in scoring with 23 points and seven rebounds. He went 15-for-17 from the free-throw line. Adnan Hodzic paced Lipscomb with nine rebounds and chipped in with 17 points. There were 50 fouls and 62 free throws in the contest.
Lipscomb leads the series 12-5 and is 8-2 against the Bears in the last five seasons. Mercer’s win on Saturday snapped a five-game series winning streak for the Bisons.
Lipscomb eliminated Mercer from the 2006 and 2007 Atlantic Sun Tournaments. In 2006 the Bisons won 78-62 and in 2007 Lipscomb won 85-49. Both victories came in the opening round.
Mercer enters the tournament winners of six of their final eight games.
The General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Championship is hosted by Mercer University in Macon, Ga., for the second straight season. They will continue to host it in 2012 and 2013.
Lipscomb is 4-4 all-time in the University Center and has lost its last two games in it.
Last year the Bisons finished in a four-way tie for first place but was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Lipscomb lost 72-69 to No. 8 seed Kennesw State in the opening round. It was the first time since 2000 the top seed had been bounced from the tournament in the opening round.
Lipscomb made its first appearance in the A-Sun tournament in 2005. Since then the Bisons have gone 4-6.
This will be the third time the Bisons have entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed (2007, 2009, & 2011). Lipscomb has been the No. 1 seed twice (2007 & 2010) and the No. 5 seed wice (2005 & 2008).
Lipscomb has been the No. 4 or No. 5 seed in four of the last five years.
No. 4 seeds are 15-14 against No. 5 seeds and 19-29 all-time (.396) in the tournament. The last No. 4 seed to advance to the championship game was Georgia Southern in 1987. They went on to defeat No. 3 Stetson 49-46.
The winner of the Lipscomb-Mercer game will face the winner of No. 1 Belmont and No. 8 Kennesaw State Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Lipscomb split with Belmont while sweeping the series against Kennesaw.