The Bisons took another hard loss to the Bruins in the second installment of the Battle of the Boulevard this season. The final from the Curb Event Center was 80-75.
“We’re sitting at 3 in 6 and that’s not where we wanna be,” Head Coach Lennie Acuff said. “But there’s probably not many people at our level playing the schedule we play, and so we just need to keep getting better.”
The team won two road games over the last week and a half against Navy and Tennessee Tech, and they also hung in for the majority of the Xavier game, despite being without three of their starters.
Michaell Buckland, Jake Wolfe and Greg Jones have sat the bench until tonight, due to injuries suffered in the first matchup against Belmont last month.
“It helped getting a couple of guys back tonight that have been out for a couple of weeks,” Coach Acuff said.
This, the 146th installment of the Battle of the Boulevard, was a Battle as always. The score stayed tight until the middle of the second half when the Bruins began to knock down shot after shot gaining a 13 point lead on the Bisons.
Belmont’s freshman guard Adam Kunkel got on a hot streak shooting and got the Bruins score up to 71-58 on the Bisons with 2:42 left in the second half.
“The thing I think he’s gotten better at is, he’s not a catch-and-shoot guy. He’s obviously a really good shooter, but he’s got game, he can put it down… he’s much more athletic than you think.” Coach Acuff said about Adam Kunkel.
Adam Kunkel wasn’t the only Bruin making a difference though.
“The second half, they made shots that we didn’t,” Acuff said.
On the other side of the ball, the Bisons were unable to respond, largely due to sophomore center Ahsan Asadullah being benched early due to foul trouble and eventually fouling out.
“We have to play through Ahsan,” said Coach Acuff. “He got a couple of tough calls.’
Ahsan is a key to Lipscomb’s offense, but senior guard Andrew Fleming really stuck out tonight, scoring a career-high of 20 points for the Bisons, despite a bad leg cramp in the second half.
Even after a hard loss, Coach Acuff is still hopeful for conference play and ready to take on the season.
“I was really proud of our guys, we just continue getting better,” Acuff said. “I watched us on film last night from the last time we played them, and we’ve really grown exponentially.”
For now, the focus for the Bisons is on improving everyday as they prepare for conference play in just 31 days.
“I promise you, we get to January, were gonna be a tough battle.”
Gallery by author.