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12/4/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. (Curb Event Center) | Attendance: 3196
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It may be the shortest distance between two NCAA Division I rivals, but there is little doubt that the trip back to the Lipscomb campus down Belmont Boulevard seemed like the longest bus trip the Bisons will take this season.
The dreary, rainy ride couldn’t do much more to dampen the spirits of the Bisons in the wake of Tuesday night’s 100-66 loss in the “Battle of the Boulevard” against Belmont at the Curb Event Center.
“We don’t play through adversity very well,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. “They are a hard team to play against from behind.”
The game started out on a positive note for the Bisons. Lipscomb led by as many as eight points in the early going, but allowed Belmont to tie the game at 22-22 at 9:39 on a 3-point shot by guard Reece Chamberlain.
Belmont took over the lead at 24-22 on a layup from Trevor Noack and never trailed the rest of the way. The Bruins built up a 10-point halftime lead, 45-35.
In the second half the Bruins continued to build on their lead. Guard Ian Clark scored a game-high 30 points, his third career game with 30 or more points.
The Bisons placed three players in double figures led by point guard Khion Sankey with 15 points despite playing most of the game dealing with the effects of an ankle injury.
“It hurts, but I can’t make that an excuse,” Sankey said. “I have hurt my ankle before.”
Also in double figures for the Bisons were forward Martin Smith with 13 and center Stephen Hurt with 11.
Clark hit 7-of-11 3-point attempts combining with his teammates for a 42.9 percent shooting percentage (15-of-35) from beyond the arc. Also in double figures for Belmont were guard Kerron Johnson with 17 points and Chamberlain with 11.
“Clark is a very good player,” Sanderson said. “He shoots them deep. He is a very good shooter and he can drive the ball to the hole. They do a good job of finding him. You have to guard a lot of floor against them.”
Lipscomb shot 39.3 percent from the field, hitting 17-of-32 attempts and only 5-of-16 from 3-point range.
“We let the refs get in our heads and we didn’t play as well,” Sankey said. “Belmont played very aggressive on defense. We couldn’t get to the rim.
“We have to play through it. We are going to get better.”
Belmont, led by nine rebounds from guard J.J. Mann, held a 49-35 edge on the boards.
The Bruins committed only seven turnovers compared with 16 for the Bisons.
“In the second half it was an 8-to-10 point game and they were overplaying us which was what we wanted them to do,”
Sanderson said. “We were supposed to back cut, but we were throwing the ball to them and they were going down and dunking it and laying it in. We had four or five turnovers in a row and it went from a 10-point to a 20-point game.”
Lipscomb falls to 3-4 with the loss while Belmont improves to 6-2.
Finals starter later this week for Lipscomb students and continue through Dec. 13. The Bisons will take a study break Saturday night to face visiting UT-Martin, the fourth straight Ohio Valley Conference opponent, at 6:30 at Allen Arena. The game will be carried live on 102.5 The Game and on http://www.asun.tv
“We are going to flush this game out Wednesday,” Sanderson said. “We need to get ready for UT-Martin.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.