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Lipscomb picked third by coaches, second by media in A-Sun preseason poll

Lipscomb picked third by coaches, second by media in A-Sun preseason poll

Posted on 09 October 2014 by Allen

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If the Atlantic Sun Conference men’s basketball coaches and media are correct, the road to the 2015 A-Sun tournament championship will begin in Nashville as both groups have Lipscomb ranked in the top three in the preseason poll released on Thursday.

With the top four teams in the standings hosting the first rounds of the conference championship on campus, the A-Sun coaches tabbed the Bisons to finish in third place behind FGCU and North Florida. The league’s media on the other hand believe the Purple and Gold will edge out North Florida for second place in the conference ranks.

“I think being picked where we are shows there is a healthy level of respect from others around the league from what we accomplished last year,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “You always want to be trending in the right direction and we certainly have that same expectation to be that good or better.

“I feel like we have the makings of a high caliber team but we also know that a lot has to go our way to fulfill those expectations.”

Lipscomb senior forward Martin Smith and redshirt-sophomore guard J.C. Hampton were named to the preseason Atlantic Sun All-Conference Team. Smith was a unanimous selection to the team as the leading returning scorer in the league after averaging 15.6 points per game as a junior.

“Both of those guys had great years last year and show a lot of potential,” said Alexander. “Martin and J.C. are quality players. They’ve played really well in our system and we’re expecting both of them to have good years.

“I thought we had four guys that warranted attention and I wouldn’t have been surprised if any of the four had received conference recognition. “

FGCU’s Bernard Thompson was picked by the coaches as the preseason Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

The Bisons get the 2014-15 season underway on Nov. 14 hosting Berry at 8 p.m. at Allen Arena. Season tickets are on sale now by calling 615-966-HERD (4373) or by visiting http://www.LipscombTickets.com

Coaches Poll

FGCU
North Florida
Lipscomb
USC Upstate
Northern Kentucky
Kennesaw State
Jacksonville
Stetson

Media Poll

FGCU
Lipscomb
North Florida
USC Upstate
Northern Kentucky
Stetson
Jacksonville
Kennesaw State

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Lipscomb faces Vandy, Princeton, and Texas in 2014-2015 season

Lipscomb faces Vandy, Princeton, and Texas in 2014-2015 season

Posted on 14 August 2014 by Allen

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With games in Austin, Texas, Boulder, Colorado, and Princeton, New Jersey among others, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team is set to rack up some frequent flyer miles during a challenging 2014-15 campaign.

“When looking at the overall schedule, you’re not going to find a coach anywhere that doesn’t say that it’s a difficult one, but I’m not going to say that,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “I’m going to say that we have a lot of balance. It’s a schedule that catches the eye of anybody who looks at it closely. We’ve got some high profile names on there. We’ve got a lot of local teams that have had significant success and the Atlantic Sun schedule is the one that we’re most concerned about.”

Returning four of the five starters from last season’s squad, the Bisons open play in November with the first five games in the Music City. The season kicks off on Nov. 14 as NCAA Division III foe Berry comes to Allen Arena. Lipscomb then hosts Belmont in the annual renewal of the “Battle of the Boulevard” on Nov. 17 ahead of the short trip to take on Vanderbilt on Nov. 20.

“It’s a great opportunity for Bison fans to see our team early and get a good glimpse of who we are and what our season is going to look like,” said Alexander. “It’s exciting for us but there are some tough games in that stretch. It will be important for us to hold our own to get the season started.”

The home slate resumes on Nov. 22 as the Bisons take on Transylvania before making the return trek to battle Belmont on Nov. 24 at the Curb Event Center.

“Having four additional nonconference games to fill is a challenge,” said Alexander. “Really you can always look and see who you want to play but having that team having a desire to play you and then fitting that puzzle together to play is difficult. We take four games that were typically in January or February and we now have got to find nonconference opponents. That’s a pretty difficult challenge.

“We feel good about where we finished. We ended up playing a non-Division I game that we didn’t anticipate playing to make it work but overall we are really pleased with the layout of our schedule”.

Following the battle with the Bruins, the Purple and Gold head west to the Rocky Mountains to take on Colorado in the first-ever meeting between the two schools that share similar horned mascots.

“When you are putting together a nonconference schedule you want to find games that are attractive to not only fans, but also give your players an opportunity to maybe see part of the country that they haven’t seen before or play in places that they haven’t played before,” noted Alexander.

Lipscomb continues nonconference action in December hosting Tennessee State on Dec. 6 in between road contests at Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay in the first half of the month.

With exams finished, Alexander’s squad will head to the Lonestar State to face Big XII power Texas in Austin on Dec. 16 before heading back across the country to play Princeton on Dec. 19 marking the first Ivy League opponent in school history for the Bisons.

“The trip to Princeton is going to be an exciting one for our team,” said Alexander. “The trip alone will be a great experience. We are going to have a chance to spend a whole day in New York City and for several of our players that will be a first. But we’re going up there to play a game against a team that has had a lot of NCAA tournament success. Just their style alone makes them really difficult to play.

“The Princeton offense as it’s called and rightfully so, is unique and a challenge but it’s one that’s fun to prepare for. They will be a team that’s fun to play against and one that will make our team better win or lose.”

Lipscomb then returns home to the Volunteer State to host Ohio Valley Conference foe Austin Peay on Dec. 21 before renewing an in-state rivalry with Chattanooga with the first meeting of the two schools since 2002 on Dec. 29.

“The trip to Chattanooga after Christmas will be a great test for us,” said Alexander. “It’s a game like a lot of our games, that our fans we be able to get to and have some natural rivalry to it because of the proximity. Chattanooga is a team that historically has had a lot of success and with Will Wade there they had a season very similar to ours last year.

“We’re excited about going down there and playing that game. It’s always important to us if we can to play local games and as many local teams as we can. It just makes sense when you’re putting a schedule together because people in our area that pull for us know those names and know those teams.”

A trip to Southeastern Conference foe Missouri kicks off the 2015 portion of the slate on Jan. 3 before the Bisons wrap up non-league action hosting NCAA Division III foe Rhodes on Jan. 5

Now featuring eight teams with the departure of East Tennessee State and Mercer, the shortened Atlantic Sun Conference schedule kicks off on Jan. 10 as Lipscomb hosts Northern Kentucky.

“The Atlantic Sun is where we are ultimately going to be measured,” said Alexander. “Our philosophy is that it’s the only place where everybody is playing the exact same schedule home and away. It’s going to determine whether we think about whether this was a successful season or not.”

“I think as we reflect on last year, that’s the reason we look back and say we felt like we accomplished a few things on the front end that people didn’t expect us to. So now what we have to do is take that strong finish and take that to the next level. The Atlantic Sun is going to be as competitive as it has been. Anybody who wins this league is going to be a formidable opponent in the NCAA tournament. So what we need to make happen is make sure that’s Lipscomb this year.”

The 14-game conference campaign and 2014-15 regular season is set to wrap up on Feb. 28 as Lipscomb hosts Kennesaw State in Nashville.

The top four teams in the conference will again host the first round of the A-Sun Championships on Mar. 3 with the highest remaining seeds hosting the semifinals and finals on campus as well on March 5 and 8, respectively.

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Legendary Lipscomb Coach Don Meyer Dies From Cancer

Legendary Lipscomb Coach Don Meyer Dies From Cancer

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Allen

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Don Meyer has left this world physically and is spending eternity in heaven, but he is still very much alive in this world.

It would not be surprising if the first words he hears are, “Welcome home. Buddy,” from Lipscomb “super fan” Chuck Ross.

If the legacy of a person is the number of people he influenced then Coach Meyer’s will be taller than any memorial made of stone.

He impacted the lives of thousands upon thousands of basketball players. Not only did he teach them the skills of the game he loved, he taught them the fundamentals of how to be the best they can be whether it be in their church, their family or their career.

Meyer taught them that living a life of positive influence starts with the simplest of acts – picking up trash, saying yes sir and no sir or expressing gratitude.

To say that Meyer, who passed away peacefully at his home in Aberdeen, South Dakota after a long and courageous battle with cancer, was just a basketball coach is far too inadequate of a description of his life. He was a talker. He was a listener. Most of all he was a philosopher who could find a lesson in almost any aspect of life.

He was a note taker and those that played for him also took notes. They did more than scribble words. They took what he said and allowed it to sink into their minds. But most importantly they allowed what those words meant to find a place in their hearts.

Those players have passed along much of Coach Meyer’s philosophy to their own children, other family members, their employees and co-workers. In the continuum of life his words will be heard by generations who never met him personally or heard him speak, earth’s version of immortality.

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Lady Bisons knock off ETSU 76-74

Lady Bisons knock off ETSU 76-74

Posted on 07 March 2014 by Allen

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The Lipscomb women’s basketball win over ETSU was true Bliss.

From the opening tip when Sara Bliss took the ball to the rim for a layup, to the clutch 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining on the clock, Bliss played a key role in the start and finish as the Lady Bisons knocked off ETSU 76-74.

“It was a great team win tonight,” Lipscomb head coach Greg Brown said. “I am just so happy for the girls. To be down early and fight their way back shows a true testament to their will. We didn’t play our best game defensively, but everyone stepped up when we needed them the most. It was a great team effort.”

With the win Lipscomb snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Bucs (9-19, 5-12) Thursday night in Allen Arena.

The Lady Bisons (6-22, 3-14) posted four players in double figures led by redshirt sophomore forward Ashley Southern, who scored 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field. She was joined in double digits by Danay Fothergill, who scored 15 points, 12 of which came in the final 20 minutes of action. Cooper and Bliss rounded out the double-figure scorers with 16 and 14, respectively.

Lipscomb trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, when Serena Clark converted on a layup to give ETSU a 33-19 lead at the 6:09 mark.

The key moment to the victory was when Brown called a timeout just one minute into the second half, following a Maria Bond layup to give the Bucs a nine-point lead at 43-34.

Whatever Brown said must have worked.

The Lady Bisons used three 3-pointers and a 14-2 run to quickly tie the game at 45-45, before Cooper drained another trey to give Lipscomb its first lead (48-45) since the 15:37 mark in the first half.

From there, it was a back-and-forth affair with 14 lead changes the rest of the way.

With Lipscomb trailing 70-69, Southern calmly stepped up and hit two from the charity stripe to take a 71-70 lead with 53 seconds to play.

But ETSU would not go away. Tiana Burley scored two of her 12 points on a layup for ETSU to regain the lead.

Brown called a timeout with 29 seconds to play.

The plan was to originally look for Southern on the inside, where she had dominated all game. But with a collapsed defense, the Lady Bisons showed maturity to reverse the ball back to Cooper, who after a couple of dribbles into the lane, dished the ball to a wide-open Bliss for the go-ahead trey.

“The three from Sara is something we see every day in practice,” Brown said. “That is her spot on the top left hand side and it’s the second time she has hit a shot like that this year.

”The best thing about it is, we ran some action to get a touch inside, but it got reversed back to her and she got the shot off. That shows a lot of growth in our team, that no one panicked. “

Cooper nailed a couple of free throws in the final seconds to secure the win and clinch a berth into the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference Women’s Basketball Championship that gets underway next week.

Brown liked the effort he got from his bench tonight, even though much of what they did will not show up in the box score.

“I thought Maya Dillard did a very good job for us, Brown said. “ She did a very good job controlling the tempo. A lot of times she got the ball to somebody who then got it to someone else, so she didn’t quite get the assist, but I thought she did a very good job of controlling the game while she was in there.”

The Lady Bisons protected the ball, only coughing it up seven times while forcing ETSU into 20 miscues.

ETSU have five players in double-figures, led by Clark’s 13.

The Lady Bisons wrap up the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday hosting USC Upstate at 1 p.m. at Allen Arena. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.

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Red hot Lipscomb blows out Florida Gulf Coast  92-71

Red hot Lipscomb blows out Florida Gulf Coast 92-71

Posted on 28 February 2014 by Allen

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When the nation’s fourth-most prolific 3-point shooting team hits the first six shots from the beyond the arc you know it is going to be a good night. The Lipscomb basketball team did just that en route to a 92 to 71 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday night at Allen Arena.

“We had a lot of guys contribute tonight and I thought our guys played their roles and played well,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “Guys found a way to contribute and it was a total team win. We had a lot of guys play well, our team played well and that’s why we won the game convincingly.”

Redshirt-freshman point guard J.C. Hampton led the 3-point barrage draining 6-of-10 from deep to lead the Bisons (14-14, 9-8 A-Sun).

After jumping out to an 18-6 advantage, the Bisons kept pressing on the gas pedal eventually building a 20-point cushion over the Eagles (19-11, 13-4) at the 12:06 mark of the opening half when Hampton drained a trey to make it a 32-12 advantage. Lipscomb would go on to lead by 20 at the half after a season-best 58-point performance in the first half.

The Eagles would attempt to mount a comeback midway through the second half pulling to within 14 with 8:23 to play but that is as close as FGCU would come as the Bisons pulled away down the stretch.

“I really felt like anytime FGCU got some momentum we were able to answer and stem the tide a little bit and keep a comfortable margin,” said Alexander.

Hampton and junior forward Martin Smith each finished with 21 points just ahead of junior forward Malcolm Smith, who added 20. Sophomore forward Talbott Denny added 11 points off the bench.

FGCU was led by point guard Brett Comer who poured in a game-high 27 points. The spirited Lipscomb defense held the Eagles leading scorer Bernard Thompson to only two points after the veteran got into foul trouble.

The Bisons finished the game hitting 50 percent from the floor hitting a season-high 30 field goals in 60 attempts. Lipscomb also hit 50 percent from deep making 15-of-30, both season highs. FGCU shot 41.2 percent for the night including 30.8 from beyond the arc.

Lipscomb also held a 14-7 advantage in turnovers that the Bisons turned into 15 second-chance points.

“Eighteen assists to only seven turnovers against a really good, active defensive team is exceptional ball control,” said Alexander. “Then you throw on top of that, that we make 16 threes and shoot 50 percent from the floor. We even got nine offensive rebounds which seem like a record high for us. I’ve got no complaints tonight from the offensive end of the floor.”

The Bisons wrap up 2013-14 regular season play on Saturday morning hosting A-Sun foe Stetson at 10 a.m. at Allen Arena. The game is set to air on ESPN3 and on 94.9 Game 2 in the Nashville area.

“I’m so proud of our team for staying the course and coming to work every day and finding a way to win some games here and there that could have gone either way,” said Alexander. “ I’m happy that tonight wasn’t one of those.”

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Lipscomb overcomes 3-point shooting woes to top Northern Kentucky 70-66

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Allen

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Overcoming a 2-for-17 start to the night beyond the arc is a difficult feat to accomplish but the Lipscomb men’s basketball team pulled it off on Friday night hanging on for a 70-66 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Northern Kentucky at Allen Arena.

“If you don’t perform really well, especially offensively, it’s hard to get it to go in the basket,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “Your only way to win is to really maximize your effort which translates to a good defensive game. I thought we got that for the most part tonight.”

Despite the shooting woes from deep the Bisons (13-14, 8-8 A-Sun) got the one that was needed most as junior forward Martin Smith hit nothing but twine to give Lipscomb a four-point advantage with 34.4 seconds remaining. The play proved to be a pivotal point in the win over the Norse (8-20, 4-12 A-Sun).

“That was a huge three for us by Martin when he hasn’t been shooting the ball that well,” said Alexander. “I have to give all of those guys a lot of credit. It’s one thing to see the play but it’s another to put the pass on the money, to be ready to catch and shoot it and to knock it down. All of that has to go right.”

Junior forward Malcolm Smith led all scorers with a 21-point night hitting 7-of-11 from the field and adding seven free throws in 11 attempts at the charity stripe.

“Malcolm wanted the ball tonight and the shots weren’t falling for us like they normally do,” said Alexander. “We had to shake it up a little bit. We had to try to get some interior baskets, get some fouls and get to the free-throw line. Malcolm was ready and he answered the bell. It was huge for our team.”

He was joined in double figures by twin brother Martin, who scored 18, and redshirt-freshman guard J.C. Hampton, who added a dozen.

Lipscomb overcame a 17 percent shooting night from 3-point land by hitting 72 percent from the charity stripe making 19-of-28. Taking care of the ball was also key as Lipscomb turned the ball over only seven times while forcing 15 miscues by Northern Kentucky.

The Bisons were outrebounded 36-31 but managed to haul in 13 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points.

Senior guard Khion Sankey led all players with 10 rebounds just missing a double-double with seven points.

“It’s exciting to know that we have two more home games,” said Alexander. “Florida Gulf Coast had a huge win tonight and are playing as good as anybody in the league. Now they’re playing for first place and home-court advantage. We know what a challenge that will be but there’s nothing more exciting than being able to play a home game on your home floor.”

The Bisons continue home Atlantic Sun Conference action on Thursday night at 6 p.m. hosting league co-leader Florida Gulf Coast. The contest will air on ESPN3 and 94.9 Game 2.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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