The Atlantic Sun Conference regular season men’s basketball title won’t be decided this weekend, but the championship picture might get a whole lot clearer.
Lipscomb enters the weekend 6-2 in conference play, a half-game behind Campbell, which is 6-1. Two teams are one-half game behind the Bisons, including East Tennessee State.
So it is only fitting that Lipscomb hosts East Tennessee State and Campbell on Thursday and Saturday respectively at Allen Arena. Tip-off on Thursday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
“Both are going to be pivotal games for all three of us as we jockey for position,” Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said.
The Bisons have won six straight at home, including all four conference games they have played. Following a victory there over Belmont on Jan. 11, they split a pair on the road last weekend with a loss to Jacksonville and a victory over North Florida.
“This is a really critical stretch because these two teams are at the top of the conference with us, and these are home games,” Lipscomb junior guard Josh Slater said. “It’s very important to win your home games, especially the conference games.”
What have you done for me lately?
The top two SEC women’s basketball teams from 2008-09 meet Thursday (7 p.m., CSS) in a matchup with much less at stake than their most recent encounter – when Vanderbilt met Auburn in the 2009 SEC tournament championship.
Both teams are 2-3 in conference play. Only Alabama and Arkansas (each 0-5) have worse records.
The 21st-ranked Commodores (13-5) have lost three straight conference road games, the most recent being Sunday at Tennessee. They have not dropped four in a row since 2000.
The good news is that they have won 15 straight overall against Auburn (11-7), including six in a row at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.
Middle Tennessee State defensive end Chris McCoy will participate in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN2).
McCoy is the first defensive player and just the third overall from MTSU to be invited to the game. Running back Walter Dunson (1992) and Dwone Hicks (2003) also were invited, but Hicks was unable to participate because of injury.
McCoy had 64 tackles, 20 tackles for losses and seven sacks for the Blue Raiders, who went 10-3 and won the New Orleans Bowl.
A grand occasion
Trevecca Nazarene’s Matthew Elliot scored his 1,000th career point last Saturday in the Trojans’ 74-67 victory over Cumberland.
A 6-foot-2 senior from Spring Hill, he is the leading scorer for Trevecca, which is 12-5 overall (4-1 in the Tran-South Athletic Conference) and ranked 11th in the NAIA. He also is among the NAIA’s top 20 nationally in 3-point shooting and free throw shooting.
• Members of the National Bison Club may purchase their tickets for the second annual Don Meyer Evening of Excellence beginning 10 a.m. Monday at lipscombsports.com. This year’s event features keynote speaker Tim Tebow and takes place 7:30 p.m. on April 17.
Tickets are $25, $50 or $100 and any Bison Club members at the Purple Level or above may purchase up to six.
Any unsold seats will be made available to the general public at 10 a.m. on Feb. 15.
• A limited number of seats are available for Vanderbilt’s annual Meet The Commodores Baseball Banquet, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Student Life Center on campus.
Tickets are $65 (corporate tables for seven also are available) and must be purchased by Feb. 3.
Tennessee State’s men’s basketball team will play its second straight game on ESPNU (Comcast Ch. 272) when it faces Jacksonville State on the road, 6 p.m. (CST) Thursday.
The Tigers (4-15, 1-6 in the OVC) lost 79-77 at Austin Peay on Saturday in a contest that also was shown by the network.