Nashville, TN – The Bisons got a career night from Talbott Denny, as the sophomore scored 22 points and added 11 rebounds to lead Lipscomb men’s basketball to a 75-70 win over homestanding Tennessee State on Monday night at the Gentry Center.
“I have to give Talbott a ton of credit for really being the guy that for 40 minutes gave us great effort and production,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “As often is the case, when you make some effort plays to get yourself going it helps you to settle down and do the things that you can do to contribute and that’s what happened.
“He got some offensive put backs early and that allowed him just to play. I’m proud of his production and his effort for the whole 31 minutes that he played.”
Lipscomb’s Martin Smith drives against TSU(Mateen Sabiq Nashville Sports Network)
In a game that saw 58 fouls called, rhythm was difficult for either team to establish. Those frequent whistles led to a school record 37 made free throws on a school-best 50 attempts including 11 makes from Denny.
The first half saw the Bisons (2-2) lead most of the period before the Tigers (0-5) went on a 12-2 run to close out the opening stanza and take a 30-29 advantage.
Free throws would be the difference down the stretch in the contest as Lispcomb hit 12-of-14 from the line over the final 3:41 to seal the win without taking a shot from the field.
Junior forward Martin Smith added 18 points in the win for the purple and gold. Tennessee State guard Patrick Miller led all scorers with 28 points behind 8-of-20 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 from the line.
Lipscomb shot 46 percent from the field for the contest and was able to overcome a 2-for-10 night beyond the arc. The Bisons defense held TSU to 34 percent from the floor including a tepid 6-of-23 from downtown.
The Tigers forced the Bisons into 21 turnovers behind a tough press in the second half but converted those miscues into only 11 points while Lipscomb turned 16 TSU blunders into 16 points. Lipscomb held a slight 39-38 advantage on the boards
“It was a really poor offensive effort from us in general,” said Alexander. “We should never have a game with six assists and 21 turnovers. We may have 21 turnovers on occasion but we’re a ball-sharing team. A passing oriented team. Having only six assists shows that we sat on it a lot, overdribbled it a lot and were out of synch offensively.
The Bisons continue action in the Music City on Wednesday night making the short trek up Belmont Boulevard to take on the Bruins at 7 p.m. at the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast live on 94.9 Game 2 presented by Jackson with Jonathan Seamon and Jay Walton calling the action.
“Having played three games in six days on Wednesday, we’ll be tired,” said Alexander. “We’ll have to minimize the damage and be smart about what we do tomorrow in practice.
“Having already played Belmont once so recently will allow us to take a little bit off in preparation from a physical standpoint. The preparation will be much more of a film session and mental session than it is having to get after it tomorrow so we can save ourselves for Wednesday.”
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