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FGCU Falls Short at Lipscomb, 89-79
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite connecting on 17 of their first 20 shots, the FGCU men’s basketball team fell to A-Sun foe Lipscomb, 89-79 on Monday night at the Allen Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Lipscomb used a 12-2 run late in the first half to take a 46-41lead into the half, a lead they did not relinquish. A total of nine players recorded double-figures in the game.
With the loss, FGCU falls to 5-8 overall (2-2 A-Sun) while the Bison’s improve to 6-7 overall (3-1 A-Sun).
“I thought we played well offensively,” said FGCU head coach Dave Balza.”To score 79 points and lose is testament to how well Lipscomb played tonight. Even though we shut them down inside, they made 15 3-pointers, that’s way they’re the best offensive team in the league. “
Four Eagles registered double-digit in points with junior guard Reed Baker (Naples, Fla.) leading the way with 17. Baker shot 5-of-11, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc. Baker has led FGCU in scoring in five of their last seven games, and has put up double-figures in the Eagles last seven contests. Freshman Anthony Banks (Lantana, Fla.) registered 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting (1-of-2 from the charity stripe). Senior’s Kyle Marks (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Derrick O’Neil (Moreno Valley, Calif.) also added double-figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. O’Neil also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
The Bisons placed five players in double-figures, three scoring 20 points or more. Jordan Burgason scored 22 points, Johnny Lee added a career-high 22 and Brandon Brown finished with 20. Junior center Adnan Hodzic finished with 10 points, extending his nation-leading double-figure streak to 40 games. Josh Slater also added 10.
In the first half, FGCU dominated the paint, scoring 26 points and opened up a nine point lead midway through the first half. Chambers hit a 3-pointer to give FGCU the 32-23 lead with 10:25 left before the break. The Eagles offense connected on 17 of their first 20 shots with O’Neil scoring six of his 11 points in the first two minutes of the contest.
From that point the Bisons went on a 20-7 run. They led for the first time at 2:09, 40-39. The run for the Bisons started with a free throw by Brown and ended with a 3-pointer by Burgason at 1:09. The Bisons went into the dressing room with a 46-41 lead.
In the second half, the Bisons opened up a nine-point lead, 52-43 as Burgason sank his second 3-pointer of the second half at 18:26.
The Eagles fought back and cut the Bisons lead down to three, 62-59, on a 3-point shot by Baker with 12:53 remaining. That would be the closest FGCU would get to the Bisons in the final 20 minutes.
With 8:52 left to play Lee dropped in a pair of free throws to give the Bisons the 71-61 lead, the biggest advantage by the Bisons at that point. Slater scored inside at 3:32 to give the Bisons a 77-70 lead. Slater was fouled on the play and sank the free throw. His points ended a three-minute scoring drought by the Bisons.
Lipscomb hit a 3-point shot with 2:20 on the clock to give the Bisons an 82-72 lead and they never looked back.
Both teams shot more than 50 percent from the field. FGCU hit 53 percent (32-60) and Lipscomb connected on 51 percent (25-49) of their shots. Despite FGCU outrebounding Lipscomb by a 34-26 margin, the Bison held the advantage in the 3-point category, draining 15 3-pointers to FGCU’s six.
The Eagles land back at home on Friday, Jan. 8 against North Florida in the A-Sun Game of the Week on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS: Comcast channel 70). The game can also been seen on ESPN360.com, and is available free of charge to all students who get their high-speed Internet access through the on-campus network, to anyone getting their high-speed Internet through one of ESPN’s affiliated ISPs, and to U.S.-based military personnel who access the Internet via on-base servers. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., for ticket information call the Alico Arena Box Office at (239) 590-7145 or visit www. FGCUathletics.com.