NASHVILLE (Feb. 16, 2009) - In a game full of technical fouls, rough play and wild momentum swings, the Lipscomb Bisons built an 18-point first half lead and finally put an end to ETSU's seven-game win streak in the series with a 96-91 victory in Atlantic Sun Conference play Monday evening inside Allen Arena.
The Bisons (12-13 overall, 8-8 A-Sun) won for the fourth straight contest, while the Buccaneers (17-10, 11-5) dropped their third straight. Even with the loss, the Bucs still remain one game out of first place in the A-Sun, as Jacksonville was upset by Campbell earlier in the evening.
"We just got too far behind," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "I was really proud of our team's effort in the second half and we made a great comeback to get within two points. The problem was we just didn't do enough. This is the toughest swing of the season for us and it didn't go well, but we are still in position with Jacksonville's loss. We have to rally as a team and get things righted."
The first half was eerily similar to the first meeting earlier this season at Memorial Center, when Lipscomb hit on seven 3-pointers and held a 45-30 advantage at the break. In this game, the Bisons again hit on seven long-range shots in the first half, connected on 57 percent of their field goal attempts and out-rebounded the Bucs 21-14 on their way to a 47-32 edge at the break.
With the game tied at 17-17, Lipscomb then went on a 22-4 run to make it 39-21 and in the midst of that surge Tiggs picked up his third foul of the game with 8:02 left in the half. While the senior forward sat on the bench things only got worse, but his return to the lineup with under four minutes left in the half resulted in seven straight points and at least helped the Bucs to a manageable deficit at the break.
In the second half, the Bucs roared back with their patented full court defense and wild transition game. Those efforts led to ETSU making it 72-70 when senior Courtney Pigram (Memphis) nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing with 5:31 remaining. However, from there a technical foul on Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) and another technical on Bartow moments later allowed Lipscomb to pull back out to a 79-70 advantage with 3:34 left.
The Bucs tried again to rally and even with the score 92-79 with 36 seconds left, the Bucs went on a 12-2 run to cut it to 94-91 with 2.2 seconds left. In the end, Lipscomb's Jimmy Oden hit two foul shots to ice the game.
For the Bucs, Tiggs scored a game-high 26 points and actually eclipsed 1,000 points for his career with a layup at the 2:08 mark of the first half. Along with Tiggs, junior guard Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) posted his sixth career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. In addition, freshman guard Jarvis Jones (Memphis) had 10 points, and sophomore guard Tommy Hubbard (Boston) returned from injury to post eight rebounds and go 8-of-8 from the line.
Lipscomb was led by Oden with 19 points, while five other Bisons reached double figures, with Michael Lusk posting 16, Brian Wright had 15, Adnan Hodzic netted 12, and both Thomas Pfaff and Josh Slater picked up 10 apiece.
The Bisons hit on 53 percent from the field, while also shooting 54 percent from 3-point range. The Bucs were just 42 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.
The Bucs will return to action Thursday night at USC Upstate, with tip scheduled for 7 p.m.