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Lipscomb (12-18 7-11(ASun))
Mercer (22-10 14-4(ASun))
3/6/2013 | Macon, Ga. - Hawkins Arena | Attendance: 3527
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
MACON, Ga. – Unable to overcome shooting 22 percent from the field in the second half and 38 percent from the free throw line for the entire game, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team dropped an 82-48 decision to top seed Mercer in the opening round of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in Macon, Ga. on Wednesday night.
The opening 20 minutes of action saw the A-Sun regular-season champion Bears (22-10) jump out to a 12-point cushion before the Bisons battled back with the final two baskets of the half on a tip in by junior guard Khion Sankey and a layup by sophomore guard Carter Sanderson.
The momentum at the end of the half did not carry over however as Mercer opened the half with a 10-1 run. The drought against the top defense in the A-Sun continued until the 13:56 mark when Sanderson hit a three for the first shot of the second half for LU.
“We talked at halftime about how important the first five minutes of the second half was and we turned the ball over a couple of times,” said Lipscomb head coach Scott Sanderson. “In the first four minutes, we didn’t get very good shot selections at all and Mercer got good shots and stretched the lead out.”
A pair of threes by senior guard Deonte Alexander on consecutive possessions with just under 12 minutes to go cut the lead to 15 at 56-41 but the Bears would quickly step on the gas and put the game out of reach for good.
Alexander wrapped up his career in Purple and Gold with a game-high 15-point effort on 5-of-15 shooting from the field including 4-of-9 from deep. Sophomore forward Martin Smith was the only other Bison to finish in double figures with a 10-point night.
The Mercer defense held the Bisons to the second-lowest scoring output of the season including limiting redshirt freshman center Stephen Hurt to 1-of-2 shooting from the field after averaging 11.8 points per game coming into the night.
“Mercer makes it hard for you to score with their size and length,” said Sanderson. “They don’t have any weaknesses on either end of the floor. That's the reason why they won our league.”
Langston Hall led Mercer to the win finishing with 12 points as one of four Bears to reach double figures.
Rebounding turned out to be the only stats column that Lipscomb won edging out Mercer 34-32 thanks to a team-high, nine-rebound effort from Sankey. Mercer drained 24-of-28 shots from the charity stripe, while Lipscomb was only 8-of-21.