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North Florida (11-12, 5-5 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (10-12, 5-5 A-Sun)
1/28/2012 | Nashville, TN - Allen Arena | Attendance: 3163
Saturday, January 28, 2012
The Lipscomb Bison celebrated Star Wars night, but the force was not with them.
The Bison started out on the wrong foot in the first half and were unable to recover despite a much stronger second half in a 71-59 Atlantic Sun loss to North Florida Saturday night at Allen Arena.
The Bison slipped to 10-12 overall, 5-5 in the conference. North Florida is 12-12, 5-5 in the A-Sun. A crowd of 3,163 was on hand for the game, one of the largest single-game attendance figures in the NCAA era.
The Bison are back in action in the A-Sun Monday night when Jacksonville visits Allen Arena at 6:30.
The Bison had 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes and trailed 45-24. They were out-rebounded 25-16. North Florida shot 55.9 percent from the field in the first half while the Bison shot 27.6 percent.
“They made us take tough shots and we missed them,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “That took a lot of energy out of us defensively.
“When you are out-rebounded by nine and turn the ball over 12 times you are going to be down like we were. They made shots and we didn’t. They competed harder than we did.”
At halftime Sanderson thought the Bison still had a chance to make a winning comeback. They outscored North Florida 35-26 in the second half. The Bison pulled to within six points of the lead, 62-56, with 3:11 left to play on a 3-point shot by guard Jordan Burgason.
“We talked about pride at halftime,” Sanderson said. “That was a big hole to dig yourself out of. You can’t have a first half like we did and expect to win at home or on the road.
“Absolutely, I still thought we could win. We couldn’t get it all back in one possession. We had to chip away and chip away. I thought we did that. We had a chance, but we made a couple of turnovers and they were back up by 10. The game was over.”
Burgason was the only Bison in double figures with 19. Center Justin Glenn pulled down nine rebounds.
“We didn’t execute in the first half,” Burgason said. “We started off slow. We have to work on being able to come in and dominate from the get-go. We didn’t do that.”
North Florida guard Parker Smith had a game-high 25 points. Forward Matt Sauey posted a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds and 12 points. Forward Andy Diaz also chipped in with 12 points.
The Bison were out-rebounded 49-39 for the game. North Florida scored 16 points on second chance shots and the Bison scored six.
“We have been out-rebounded in nine of the last 11 games,” Sanderson said. “That is a major concern for us.”
The Bison will practice Sunday in preparation for Jacksonville, an 85-71 loser at Belmont Saturday night. Jacksonville is 4-17 overall, 2-8 in the conference. The Bison will be seeking their 100th win in the 11-year history of Allen Arena.
“Jacksonville is good,” Sanderson said. “They just haven’t won. They compete very hard. If we don’t play any better than we played against North Florida we will get beat again.
“We need to practice but we have to have rest. We need guys who need to have some extra reps in practice, but we also need fresh legs for a team that is very athletic.”