Area College Notes: Lipscomb's Hodzic a rock in stormy season

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 10:38pm

Adnan Hodzic has been the one sure thing in an unpredictable Atlantic Sun Conference men’s basketball season.

With two games to go in the regular season, Lipscomb’s junior center has scored in double figures in every game this season. In so doing he has stretched to 54 his streak of consecutive games with 10 points or more, which is the longest active streak in Division I. Wofford’s Noah Dahlman (42 games) has the next longest active run.

“He’s been very consistent the last two years,” coach Scott Sanderson said. “He’s faced a lot of double teams and triple teams. No matter what he’s up against, he just consistently can score the basketball.”

Hodzic extended the streak even as the Bisons, one of four teams separated by one game at the top of the conference standings, played top-flight non-conference competition such as Vanderbilt (18 points), Ohio State (18 points), Cincinnati (18 points) and Arizona (34 points). He has averaged 20.1 points during the streak.

Lipscomb concludes the regular season with home games Thursday against Kennesaw State and Saturday against Mercer.

Hodzic had 25 in this season’s first meeting with Mercer (a 98-89 victory on Dec. 3) and 17 against Kennesaw State (a 97-91 defeat).

“He has not done it all by himself,” Sanderson said. “His teammates have done a good job of getting him the ball.”

Tournament talk

The 2010 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament does not start until next week, but already the conference office has turned its attention to the 2011 event.

First-year commissioner Beth DeBauche announced Monday that the entire eight-team event for both the men and women will take place at Municipal Auditorium. In recent years first-round games have been played at campus sites with the semifinals and finals in downtown Nashville (typically at the Bridgestone Arena).

A more dramatic change will be to the format. The top two seeds will receive byes into the semifinals and the Nos. 3 and 4 will get first-round byes. Thus the bottom four teams will play in the first round, and the two winners will advance to face Nos. 3 and 4 in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal winners then will face Nos. 1 and 2 in the semis.

The setup clearly is designed to create the best opportunity for the top teams to earn the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Well-armed

Two local players earned their respective conference Pitcher of the Week awards Monday, following the first weekend of games.

Vanderbilt’s Sonny Gray was named the Southeastern Conference’s top pitcher after he threw eight shutout innings in the Commodores’ season-opening victory against Niagara. His eight innings were the most of any SEC pitcher. He allowed three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

The TranSouth Conference honored Trevecca Nazarene senior Tim Dunn after his complete-game performance in the Trojans’ victory over NAIA No. 23 Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.). The preseason NAIA All-American allowed two runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Bennett’s burial

The majority of Vanderbilt’s football coaches will attend a memorial service Thursday for signee Rajaan Bennett, who was murdered last week inside his family’s home outside of Atlanta.

The funeral for the All-State running back, who was considered a prized Commodores’ recruit, will be Saturday.

Briefly

• MTSU’s Kent Bulle made seven birdies on the par-5s and shared medalist honors with a three-round total of 213 (3-under) at the Mobile Bay (Ala.) Intercollegiate. He shot a final round 74 on Tuesday.

It was the fourth time in his career the senior from Glasgow, Ky., won or shared the individual title. As a team, MTSU finished fifth, three strokes behind fourth-place Vanderbilt.

• Belmont postponed its baseball game against Western Kentucky, scheduled for Wednesday, due to the forecast of sub-freezing temperatures. The game was moved to 3 p.m. March 3 at Shelby Park.

The Bruins opened the season with a three-game sweep of Evansville last weekend. The three victories were by a combined four runs.

• Lipscomb’s Jake Pease, the school’s all-time leader in assists, participated in a U.S. National Women’s Volleyball Team tryout camp over the weekend in Colorado Springs.

“On my way out to Colorado Springs on Friday, every time I checked my phone, there were text messages from a coach, athletic staff, players, and teachers!” she wrote in an online journal. “It meant the world to me to know so many people were behind me through my experience.”

• Trevecca’s Michael France was named TranSouth basketball Player of the Week after he scored 70 points, including a career-high 34 against Freed-Hardeman, in three Trojans’ victories.