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BELMONT (17-7, 10-2 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (11-13, 6-6 A-Sun)
2/3/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. - Allen Arena | Attendance: 5387
Thursday, February 02, 2012
It is a game that needs no hype.
Known as the “Battle of the Boulevard” the meetings between Lipscomb and Belmont are sold-out affairs with fans rattling the rafters with their cheering. Friday night at 6 at Allen Arena the two schools will square off for the second time this season. The game will also be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).
Lipscomb, an 85-74 winner over Belmont Jan. 6, is 11-12 overall, 6-5 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Belmont is 16-7, 9-2 in the A-Sun. The Bison have won five of the last six meetings.
“Belmont is going to play better than the last time we played them,” Sanderson said. “This game will be different. Each one of them is. We are trying to formulate the best way to play against them on both offense and defense. We want to put our best foot forward and put ourselves in a position to play at a high level.
“You better be ready to play 40 minutes in this league to win at home or on the road. Whether it is at home or on the road you just have to win the next game.”
The two games are circled on calendars on both campuses.
“The players hear about it from the media, from the students, from the faculty and from the fans,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “I don’t have to do a whole lot. If the players aren’t ready for that game there is something wrong.”
The Bison have been a work in progress due to the number of newcomers to the team. Sanderson likes the improvements he is seeing, but admits there is still a long way to go.
“We have been shooting the ball better,” Sanderson said. “We have probably executed better offensively. We are sharing the ball better and are second in the league in assists. For the most part we have been pretty consistent in being able to score.
“We still have a long way to go defensively in terms of understanding where we are supposed to be. The problem on defense is that if you have one player break down the whole team breaks down. And we have to continue to get better rebounding.”
The Bison are led by senior guard Jordan Burgason with 16.9 points per ggame. He leads the nation with a 53 percent 3-point field goal percentage. He is second in the nation in 3-point field goals per game at 3.9 with 70 in 18 games. He trails Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins who also averages 3.9 but has 82 in 21 games. Since Dec. 19 at Memphis Burgason is averaging 4.4 threes per game with 48 in 11 games.
“I always think we are going to win a game,” Burgason said. “I am sure they want to get us back. There is a lot of personal pride in this game. Both teams know this is an important game.
“We are going to have the energy and momentum coming from our crowd. Belmont is very well-coached. They play well as a team. The can get you a lot of different ways. We will have to fight their runs and come back with runs of our own.”
Belmont is paced by junior guard Kerron Johnson with 14.7 points per game. Ian Clark scored 28 point in the Jan. 6 game and is one of six Belmont players averaging nine points or more per game.
“We need everybody to play their roles, be consistent on both ends of the floor and cut down on their mistakes,” Sanderson said. “We need to make the easy plays. We need to keep it simple.”