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Lipscomb holds off NKU, 70-66
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRC) -- Malcolm Smith scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds Friday night as Lipscomb held on for a 70-66 win over Northern Kentucky in Allen Arena.
Martin Smith added 18 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 34.8 seconds remaining that extended Lipscomb's lead to 67-63. The Bisons made three free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the victory and improved to 13-14 overall, 8-8 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
"Our guys have kept battling, but Lipscomb made a couple of big plays late and that was the difference," Norse head coach Dave Bezold said. "Lipscomb has a good team that is capable of beating anyone in our conference. I thought we played well and had our chances."
Daniel Camps scored 15 points to lead Northern Kentucky, which dropped to 8-20 overall, 4-12 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Jordan Jackson, Jalen Billups and Tyler White each finished with 10 points for the Norse, who shot 49.1 percent from the field.
Northern Kentucky led by as many as nine points (13-4) early in the game, but Lipscomb fought back and closed the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 35-29 advantage into the break. Malcolm Smith netted 15 points in the first half for the Bisons.
Cole Murray's 3-pointer tied the game at 55-all with 8:36 remaining, but Lipscomb responded with a basket by J.C. Hampton and two free throws by Khion Sankey to push its lead to 59-55.
Murray buried another trey to cut the Lipscomb lead to 59-58, but Malcolm Smith scored inside to push the Bison advantage to 61-58. Jackson's basket in the final minute pulled Northern Kentucky within 64-63, but Martin Smith drilled a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass to extend the Lipscomb lead back to four (67-63) with 34.8 seconds left.
Lipscomb leads the all-time series with Northern Kentucky, 5-2. The Bisons earlier in the season posted a 75-74 win over the Norse in Highland Heights, Ky.
Murray and Jake Giesler each added eight points for Northern Kentucky. Jackson and Camps both grabbed eight rebounds, while Billups finished with seven boards.
Northern Kentucky returns home to close out the season next week, beginning with a Thursday game against Stetson at 7 p.m. The Norse conclude the season March 1 by hosting Florida Gulf Coast at 1 p.m. in the annual homecoming game.
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