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11/1/2011 | Allen Arena, Nashville Tenn. | Attendance: 2018
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
To be a solid defensive team it takes a thief or two to keep the opposition in check.
In Tuesday night’s 97-69 exhibition win over Freed-Hardeman Lipscomb’s defense stole the ball 16 times and forced a total of 24 turnovers.
“We hadn’t been able to turn people over in the last several years,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “We turned those turnovers into 31 points. That is a huge stat for us. We are going to go out there and create steals and create pressure.”
Center Justin Glenn led the way with a game-high five steals followed by point guard Zavion Williams with three. Guards Carter Sanderson and Jacob Arnett each made two.
While Sanderson was happy to see the number of turnovers forced by his players he wants to make sure the defensive play is under control.
“We need to be more consistent and not gamble defensively,” Sanderson said. “We don’t need to try to hit a home run every play.
“Sometimes when you gamble it creates offense for the other team. I don’t want to create offense. I want us to be more solid in the half court defensively.”
Guard Jordan Burgason led the Bisons in scoring with a game-high 19 points after starting out with four missed shots in a row.
“I started out cold,” Burgason said. “We have a whole new style of play. I am going to get different shots than I have gotten the last three years. I have to get used to that.”
Also in double figures for the Bisons were forward Malcolm Smith with 14, Glenn with 13 and Zavion Williams with 12. The Bisons were 34-of-71 from the field for 47.9 percent.
“I thought we played with a lot of energy and that didn’t surprise me at all,” Sanderson said. “I felt like we were unselfish. I think that throughout the season we will have four or five guys in double figures.”
Zavion Williams tied with Malcolm Smith for the rebounding lead with eight each. The Bisons held a 50-36 advantage on the boards.
“That is going to be a huge stat for us because we are a little bit undersized at a couple of positions,” Sanderson said.
Sanderson plans to be patient with Zavion Williams as he makes the adjustment to running a team on the court at the college level. Williams was credited with five turnovers.
“They told me my goal was to limit my turnovers,” Zavion Williams said. “I go against Robert Boyd every day in practice. It is tough going against him. When I get out here the other team doesn’t have the same pressure on me.
“I also have to guard without fouling. They need me on the floor to run the offense.”
Zavion Williams and the other newcomers did not appear to have any first game jitters.
“I usually play to the crowd,” Zavion Williams said. “I feed off the crowd. That is part of the game.
“I just have to stay focused. It is a process. I can’t get ahead of myself.”
Free throw shooting was also strong with the Bisons hitting 21-of-30, a 70 percent success rate.
“We only fouled 17 times guarding with that type of pressure,” Sanderson said. “We always want to make more free throws than our opponents take. We made 21 and they shot 15. Not committing fouls was a huge plus.”
The Bisons return to Allen Arena Nov. 11 to face Fort Valley State in the regular season opener. Game time is 7:15 p.m.