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Lipscomb (5-7, 0-1 ASUN)
North Florida (6-8, 1-0 ASUN)
12/31/2012 | Jacksonville, Fla. | UNF Arena | Attendance: 976
Monday, December 31, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Giving up a 16-4 run in the final seven minutes of action, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team fell 84-70 to North Florida on Tuesday afternoon in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener for both schools.
The Bisons (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun) got 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds from sophomore forward Malcolm Smith but it would not be enough to overcome the strong shooting from the Ospreys (6-8, 1-0 A-Sun).
“We didn’t go a good job of executing and getting the shot we wanted,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “North Florida is a team with five or six seniors and we’ve got to be able to execute. I thought Will Wilson and Travis Wallace were excellent for (North Florida).”
The game was a back-and-forth affair with eight lead changes and nine ties throughout the afternoon.
“This is a game for us to continue to learn from” Sanderson noted. We rebounded well and cut our turnovers down but we’ve got be able to execute better both offensively and defensively late in the game. We did not do that today.”
Down 36-33 at the half, the Bisons opened the second half on fire with a 15-6 run capped off by a coast-to-coast, fast-break layup by Carter Sanderson to force a UNF timeout with 16:55 remaining. That timeout proved to ice the run as Lipscomb failed to score another bucket until 13:02 when sophomore forward Martin Smith hit one of his two threes in the game to cut the Osprey lead to 55-52.
Along with Malcolm Smith’s 18, the Bisons placed four players in double figures. Junior guard Khion Sankey scored 14 along with 11 from senior guard Deonte Alexander. Martin Smith rounded out the double-digit scorers for LU with 10.
UNF’s Travis Wallace, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, continued his strong play with a game-high 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor to lead all scorers. Wallace was joined in double figures by Beau Beech with 17 and Parker Smith with 16 on 4-of-9 shooting beyond the arch. Andy Diaz added a dozen from the bench for the Ospreys.
Free throws were again a problem for the Bisons as LU went 16-of-29 from the line including nine misses in the second half for 55 percent on the afternoon.
“When a game is in the balance, you keep it to a two or three-point game instead of a seven-point game when you make your free throws,” said Sanderson. “That’s been a problem for us but we’re trying to address it and work on it. “
Lipscomb won the battle of the boards 41-16 but overcame the deficit on the boards by shooting 50 percent for the game from the floor including hitting 16-of-26 in the final 20 minutes of action.
The Bisons continue play in the “Sunshine State” on Wednesday with a 6:15 p.m. Atlantic Sun tilt against Jacksonville. The game is set to air on 102.1 The Light as well as http://www.asun.tv