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Austin Peay (5-7)
12/19/2013 | Clarksville, Tenn. (Dunn Center) | Attendance: 2307
Thursday, December 19, 2013
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – After scoring 19 points to lead Lipscomb past his hometown Austin Peay Governors a year ago, Lipscomb junior forward Martin Smith upped the ante on Thursday night with a 27-point performance to lead the Bisons to a 88-38 nonconference win at the Winfield Dunn Center in Clarksville.
“I’m really proud of Martin and happy for him to be able to do what he did at home in a game that matters so much to him,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “But I’m even more pleased that he does it game after game after game. We can’t expect 27 points from him every night but he keeps stepping up and delivering and that’s what good players do.”
Coming into the night averaging 21.6 points-per-game over the past five games, Martin Smith matched his season high on 7-of-14 shooting from the field including three treys combined with a 10-of-14 night at the charity stripe.
“It’s always good to come home and play in front of my family and friends I grew up with,” said Martin Smith. “It was important for our team because we needed this win. We just came off the loss at Georgia and we needed a confidence builder for conference play.”
The contest was a back-and-forth affair that featured nine lead changes and neither team being able to gain more than a 5-point advantage in the first 20 minutes of action. Following a pair of free throws by the Govs (5-7) to tie the game at 67 with 2:58 to go, Martin Smith drained a three to put Lipscomb (5-6) back out in front and the Bisons would not trail again.
Austin Peay put home a pair of free throws cutting the lead back to one but the Purple and Gold used an 8-0 run behind three balls from J.C. Hampton and Khion Sankey and a pair of Josh Williams free throws to give the Bisons a much needed cushion. The 8-point swing gave Lipscomb the largest lead of the night with 57 ticks remaining on the clock.
The Governors refused to go away making a pair of big 3-pointers in the final 36 seconds but the Bisons went 9-for-10 at the line during that time frame to seal the win.
“I love the outcome,” said Alexander. “But I don’t love how hard it was to get it and how hard we made it on ourselves. It was tough but we found a way and ultimately, that’s what’s most important.”
Along with Martin Smith’s 27, the Bisons got 19 points from Hampton, the leading freshman scorer in the Atlantic Sun Conference , and 15 points from Malcolm Smith. Williams added 12 to score in double digits for the fourth straight game off the bench.
The Lipscomb defense forced Austin Peay into 22 turnovers, the most by any opponent for the Purple and Gold this season. Those miscues were turned into 22 points on the other end of the floor for the Bisons.
The Governors held a 35-28 advantage on the boards but the Bisons were able to overcome the deficit by shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc making a season high 13 on 28 attempts. For the game, Austin Peay held a 52 percent to 48 percent advantage in shooting.
Both teams were solid from the free-throw line with Lipscomb hitting 25-of-33 for 76 percent while Austin Peay went 20-of-26 for 77 percent.
After a short break in the action for Christmas, the Bisons return to action on Dec. 30 opening Atlantic Sun Conference against Stetson in DeLand, Fla. The contest will air on 94.9 Game 2 with Jonathan Seamon bringing the action from the “Sunshine State”