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Lipscomb (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun)
Stetson (3-10, 1-0 A-Sun)
12/30/2013 | DeLand, Fla. (Edmunds Center) | Attendance: 511
Monday, December 30, 2013
DELAND, Fla. – In a game that never saw a double-digit lead for either team, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference play with a tough 65-63 loss to homestanding Stetson on Monday night in DeLand.
“We didn’t make the plays down the stretch tonight,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “Stetson made theirs and that’s usually who wins the game. I felt like we executed offensively toward the end of the game. Martin (Smith) had a layup wedged in there that he’s going to score a lot and Talbott Denny missed two free throws that he’s going to make a lot.”
The Bisons (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun) ran into a buzzsaw in the Hatters (3-10, 0-1 A-Sun) as Stetson shot 50 percent from the floor for the game and hit 80 percent from the charity stripe on 24-of-30 shooting. Lipscomb on the other hand shot only 37.6 percent from the floor including 8-of-29 from beyond the arc. The Purple and Gold were not sharp from the free-throw line either hitting 15-of-25.
The lead changed hands eight times in the contest and things looked good for the Bisons with 1:58 remaining as senior guard Khion Sankey hauled in two offensive rebounds in a single possession including a tip-in that resulted in an old-fashioned, three-point play when he made the ensuing free throw.
From that point on, the Hatters scored six-straight points all at the free-throw line that would seal the win for Stetson. Raymone Andrews hit four of those gimmes to finish with a game-high 27 points.
“Tonight was a game that was there for either team to win,” said Alexander. “Andrews stepped up for them and made a lot of big plays throughout the game. We didn’t really have that guy that carried us tonight which is okay but it was just a close game and they were better than us tonight.”
Sankey and redshirt freshman guard J.C. Hampton led Lipscomb with 14 points each. Junior forward Martin Smith and freshman guard Josh Williams added 10 points as the Bisons finished with four scorers in double figures.
Neither squad was able to gain an advantage on the boards with each team hauling down 31. Sankey led the Bisons with eight rebounds including five offensive in the loss. Lipscomb held a 16-10 advantage in the turnover battle.
“We need to learn to get a little bit more of an edge about us,” said Alexander. “We coasted through it a lot. I think we were ready to play and I don’t think our effort was poor but we didn’t have an edge and we weren’t on a mission to play a game that was really, really big. I think we felt like that if we just hung around that sooner or later we were going to get our run and it just doesn’t work that way.”
The Bisons continue A-Sun road action on Wendesday at Florida Gulf Coast at 4:05 p.m. in Ft. Myers. The contest is set to air on ESPN3 as well as on 94.9 Game 2