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ETSU (14-13, 8-8 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (12-16, 7-9 A-Sun)
2/20/2012 | Nashville, TN - (Allen Arena) | Attendance: 2273
Monday, February 20, 2012
This basketball season has been a war of attrition for the Lipscomb Bison and the lack of depth has been difficult to overcome in the final days of the regular season despite good team efforts by the players that remain.
Monday night the Bison fell 66-57 to ETSU in the final regular season home game on Don Meyer Court at Allen Arena.
“Every game is coming down to the last possession.” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “It’s not like we are being beat by 20.
“We are right there with a limited roster. To our guys’ credit they keep battling back. We are limited and it is just part of it. They don’t put a pause button on the season.”
Youth is also a concern. Six of the Bison in the eight-man rotation are freshmen. Sanderson admits he has never dealt with a situation like this in his career, but he knows the Bison have to rally down the stretch and in the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
“We are still there with those young kids,” Sanderson said. “We have had the way we change. We have to worry about foul trouble. It is a challenge.”
The Bison trailed 26-17 at intermission. ETSU led 30-17 on a lay-up by guard Sheldon Cooley with 18:50 left in the game. The Bison cut ETSU’s lead to two points three times in the second half, the last at 59-57 on a 3-point shot by guard Jacob Arnett with 1:10 on the clock.
“They deserve a lot of credit for coming back,” Sanderson said. “I think that is important. A lot of teams wouldn’t do that.”
Forward Martin Smith paced the Bison with 18 points. Arnett and forward Malcolm Smith each chipped in 11.
Center Justin Glenn hauled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
ETSU forward Isiah Brown finished with a double-double with a game-high 19 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Also in double figures for ETSU were Cooley with 17 points and guard Marcus Dubose with 16, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
On the boards ETSU held a 37-33 advantage. But the most glaring statistic for the Bison was a 9-of-22 performance at the free throw line.
“No matter what you it is hard to beat anybody when you go 9-for-22 from the free throw line,” Sanderson said. “If you make them it gets you up two or three points instead of down three or four. Some of the shots we missed were the front ends of one-and-ones so we really lost more points than that.”
ETSU is 14-13 overall, 8-8 in the conference. The Bison are 12-16, 7-9 in the A-Sun.
After taking Tuesday off the Bison will close out the regular season on the road with a visit to Mercer Thursday night and a stop at Kennesaw State Saturday.