Due in large part to a 20-20 performance by junior center Adnan Hodzic, Lipscomb has a clear vision of what it will take to win the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title.
Hodzic had 24 points and 20 rebounds (the latter a school record in the Division I era) as the Bisons defeated Kennesaw State 74-66 Thursday at Allen Arena. He became the first A-Sun player in more than five years to accomplish the feat.
With the victory, Lipscomb (16-12, 13-6) remains in contention for the crown with one game to play. The Bisons are in a three-way tie for second behind Jacksonville, which broke a first-place tie with a 65-52 victory over Campbell.
Lipscomb can win its first A-Sun crown since 2006 with a victory Saturday at home against Mercer (5 p.m., Comcast Sports Southeast) and a Jacksonville loss to East Tennessee State.
Hodzic had 14 points and nine rebounds in the first half, which ended with Lipscomb in front by seven (37-30). He followed with 10 points in 11 rebounds in the second half as the Bisons held off a Kennesaw State (12-18, 7-12) rally.
Lipscomb never trailed during the final 20 minutes, but the lead shrunk to three, 67-64, before Michael Teller’s 3-pointer with 1:29 to play doubled that cushion.
Josh Slater added 15 points and four rebounds, and Jordan Burgason had 13 points for the Bisons.
Belmont 77, Mercer 73
Mick Hedgepeth had a team-high 15 points as Belmont defeated Mercer 77-73 at Curb Event Center.
Hedgepeth’s layup with 3:03 to play broke a 65-65 tie and put the Bruins (18-11, 13-6) ahead to stay. Keaton Belcher followed with a 3-pointer 63 seconds later, and Belmont held on as it made seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
The game featured eight ties and six lead changes, but the Bruins overcame a significant rebounding disadvantage (40-19) with a balanced attack that had nine different players score at least five points and 53.8 percent shooting as a team.
Belcher and Jordan Campbell each added 11 points. Mercer (14-15, 10-9) had four players in double figures, led by Brian Mills with 15.
With one game to play, Belmont is in a three-way tie for second place with Lipscomb and Campbell. The Bruins are at a tiebreaker disadvantage by virtue of the fact that they lost both regular-season meetings with Lipscomb.