Senior guard Raymone Andrews scored a career high 27 points to lead the Stetson men’s basketball team to a 65-63 victory over visiting Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener Monday night at the Edmunds Center.
Andrews, who led the Hatters (3-10, 1-0) with seven points in the first half, took over in the second frame, scoring 20 points to lead Stetson to the win. To put that second half performance in perspective, Andrews’ previous career best was 17 points for an entire game.
“Raymone Andrews really put us on his back and carried us,” Stetson head coach Corey Williams said after the game. “He was focused. He was driven. He made some terrific plays. Our guys fed off of each other and they played like a team.”
A three-pointer from the corner by senior Hunter Miller and a single free throw by Andrews tied the back-and-forth game at 30-30 going into halftime. After an administrative technical foul due to backboard lights that weren’t functioning correctly *(see below)* gave Lipscomb a two-point lead to open the second half, Andrews put Stetson back in front with one of his three three-pointers on the night.
The Hatters extended their lead to seven points on a triple by freshman Glenn Baral, and then nine at 56-47 on a pair from the charity stripe by Andrews. Stetson’s largest lead of the game, coming with 7:40 to play, quickly dwindled to just two after five straight points by Lipscomb’s J.C. Hampton made it 57-55 with just over five minutes remaining.
The Bisons (5-7, 0-1) got back into the game thanks to a 13-3 offensive rebounding advantage, and because Lipscomb was able to force Stetson into 16 turnovers. The Hatters finally gave up the lead when Khion Sankey converted on a conventional three-point play with just under two minutes to give the Bisons a 61-59 advantage with 1:58 to play.
A perfectly executed back door play from Andrews to Miller forced Lipscomb to foul the latter in the lane with 1:27 to play, and Miller was able to tie the game from the line.
Stetson took the lead, and then extended it to four points, at 65-61, on back-to-back trips to the free throw line by Andrews. The point guard finished the night 12-of-14 from the stripe.
A dunk by Lipscomb’s Josh Williams cut the Stetson lead back to just two points with four seconds to play, but a timely touchdown pass from junior Kentwan Smith to a streaking Andrews on the ensuing inbounds caught the Bisons by surprise and allowed the Hatters to run out the remainder of the clock.
Stetson hung onto the 65-63 victory, shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, 46.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. Lipscomb scored 21 points off of turnovers and held an 11-4 advantage in second chance points.
“I thought our guys were so competitive,” Williams said. “They showed some toughness. When we had to have stops we made stops. When we need rebounds we got rebounds. Our guys really had to hunker down, and [they] did that for the most part.”
Andrews’ 27 points led all scorers, as the senior went 6-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-6 from long range, and 12-of-14 from the line. He added four rebounds, four assists, one block, and two steals. Senior Willie Green added 10 points, while Smith and redshirt freshman Brian Pegg led the way with eight rebounds each.
Lipscomb put four players in double figures, led by Sankey and Hampton with 14 apiece. Leading scorer Martin Smith and Williams each added 10 points in the defeat. Sankey led the Bisons with eight rebounds, and Hampton had a game high six assists.
Stetson will continue A-Sun play on Wednesday. The Hatters host Northern Kentucky at 7:00 p.m. at the Edmunds Center.
**A-SUN STATEMENT Regarding Improper Assessment of Technical Foul in Monday night's Lipscomb at Stetson men's basketball game:
During last night's (Monday, December 3, 2013) Lipscomb at Stetson men's basketball games an administrative technical foul was assessed against Stetson at the start of the second half. The foul was improperly assessed for failure to have red LED lighting for signaling the end of the period. Stetson's red light system meets the rule, which permits the type of lighting system Stetson has "or" LED lighting, therefore no foul should have been assessed.
The misapplied rule reads as follows:
Rule 10 Fouls and Penalties, Section 2 Administrative Technical Fouls, Article 1: The home team shall comply with the following court/equipment requirements:
b. Have the proper game-clock display, red/LED light and mounted shot clock as in Rules 1-18.2, 1-18.4 and 1-19.2.
The clarification that either lighting system meets the requirement is found in Rule 1-18.4: A red light (that is visible through the 24-inch-by-18-inch rectangle painted on the backboard) placed behind each backboard or LED lights placed around the backboard shall be required.**