Men’s basketball leads nation in 3-point percentage

Men’s basketball leads nation in 3-point percentage

A 44% field goal percentage has propelled the Lipscomb men’s basketball team to a 5-2 start. This clip sits as number one amongst NCAA Division-I programs. The team’s best shooters right now are junior guard Greg Jones (42%), freshman guard Tommy Murr (54%), and freshman forward Jacob Ognacevic (60%). Most recently, the team beat Kentucky Christian decisively by a score of 86-67 and converted from behind the arc 13 times. “When we make threes it gives Ahsan (Asadullah) protection,” head coach Lennie Acuff said, “It means they can’t double him. Our ability to make threes is based off our ball movement and taking good shots.” So far in this season it is apparent that the team is doing just that, as better ball movement is leading to improvements from three. Last season the team shot 35% from three and averaged 7 made threes a game. Now the team is shooting well over 40% and makes 9 threes a game. “We don’t shoot a ton of threes, but I think the threes we’ve been taking are good ones.” Acuff said. “I think our shot selection and role definition lead to that. It’s something we worked on a lot in the offseason realizing it was Achilles’ heel for us last year. I’m proud of our guys that their work is paying off.” It has been an approach of quality over quantity from behind the arc for the Bisons, and it has led to the team’s best start through seven games in the Acuff era of Lipscomb basketball. The next matchup for the team is local rival Belmont University, and only time...
Men’s basketball steps into unpredictable new season

Men’s basketball steps into unpredictable new season

The Lipscomb men’s basketball team will commence the 2021-22 season with a mix of knowns and unknowns that leaves them projected to finish among the middle of the ASUN.  This time last year, the team was projected to finish first in the ASUN. At season’s end, they finished third with a 15-12 overall record and were eliminated in the first round by Florida Gulf Coast. This year, the external expectations for the team aren’t as high, but there are several things that could lead to a successful 2021-22 campaign or an underwhelming one.  What We Know Lipscomb is returning a number of key contributors this season that have been vital to the success of the team since head coach Lennie Acuff came on board in the 2019-20 season, junior center Ahsan Asadullah being the most notable. Asadullah enters into the season as a preseason All-ASUN player, and was placed on the Preseason Lou Henson National Player of the Year Watch List. After a breakout season in 2019-20, Asadullah followed up with another dominant season last year. He led the team in points per game (14.1), rebounds per game (8.0), and assists per game (3.4). The two-time ASUN first teamer will be the focal point of this team’s success and if he can maintain that production or somehow elevate it, this team has potential to surprise people.  Along with Asadullah, the team is returning other notables such as sophomore guard KJ Johnson, junior guard Greg Jones, and grad student forward Parker Hazen. These players will provide the most experience and leadership outside of Asadullah and will carry the offensive load...
Women’s basketball ready to continue crushing expectations

Women’s basketball ready to continue crushing expectations

The 2021-22 season is just days away for the Lipscomb basketball programs. The women’s team, led by third-year head coach Lauren Sumski, is coming off a winning season for the first time since 2004. The Bisons finished 12-10 during the shortened 2020-21 season, including a perfect 10-0 record at home. The 2021-22 slate carries 29 games and will serve as an opportunity for the team to prove they are ready to take the next step. Sumski has spearheaded the shift in team culture and plans to continue to equip her players to accept the challenge. “Things have changed,” Sumski said. “We are now operating under a level of expectation. We’re expected to maintain our competitiveness and improve upon it. This is the most mature we have ever been since I’ve been on board.” The Bisons will have the benefit of returning the vast majority of their team. Taylor Clark and Lindsey Whiteside were the only seniors on last year’s squad. Key contributors like sophomore guard Casey Collier, sophomore guard Jalyn Holcomb, and junior center Dorie Harrison are all back and will be looked at as the leaders of the team. “What excites me most is that they have all made tremendous improvements with their IQ and overall leadership.” Sumski said. “More than anything, these three players understand their role and are executing it more consistently.” While Collier and Holcomb are a tandem of shifty guards that can score at the rim and outside, Harrison is counted on to defend the paint and secure rebounds for the team. The Bisons are their most lethal when they are all contributing at...
Lipscomb cross-country teams running full-speed into ASUN Championship

Lipscomb cross-country teams running full-speed into ASUN Championship

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams finished their last weekend of competition with a pair of first-place finishes.  Lipscomb bested 32 men’s teams and 33 women’s teams at the Arturo Barrios Invite hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. The teams also sent runners to the UAB Blazer Classic in Birmingham, Alabama where the men finished 5th and the women finished 10th. Freshman men’s runner Ben Butcher competed in Birmingham and was Lipscomb’s second-highest finisher, coming in 26th place with a time of 25:35:05.  “The atmosphere is really positive right now.” Butcher said. “I think the past few weeks when we saw what the top guys at Texas A&M were capable of doing, we all thought ‘wow, we are legit and can compete with the top teams in the country and make a name for ourselves.’” Both Lipscomb teams seem to be trending in the right direction with the ASUN Championship next up. Along with the talent on both rosters, Butcher believes having a normal fall season has helped both teams as well. Last year, COVID-19 forced the season to be condensed and rescheduled for winter 2021.  “There is a strong appreciation for having more normalcy.” Butcher said. “My teammates have talked about last year and how hard it was to have cross country and indoor track basically at the same time. This year having that space to focus on cross country, everyone has felt more relaxed and prepared for the season.” Normalcy and their recent success are two things the Bisons can take with them into the ASUN Championship. The team is carrying a lot of confidence...
Lipscomb closes ASUN Crossover with wild win over Liberty

Lipscomb closes ASUN Crossover with wild win over Liberty

The Lipscomb volleyball team recovered from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Liberty Flames 3-2 Sunday. The ASUN Crossover tournament, which was hosted at Allen Arena, concluded with the Bisons and the Flames battling in a tightly contested five-set match. The match was the capper to a weekend chock full of ASUN volleyball action, as each of the six teams involved played on three consecutive days. “[I’m] so proud of these girls,” Lipscomb head coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “This is a tough weekend, and all of us had to go through it and it took a lot of guts to come out and compete the way we did.” The first set of the match was a dominant statement for the Bisons, imposing their will on the Flames early. The Bisons jumped out to a 16-3 lead that saw offense coming by way of eight kills, two aces, and six Liberty errors. The Bisons continued their dominance for the rest of the first set, benefiting from five more Liberty errors leading to an eventual 25-12 rout. Senior outside hitter Logan Gish led the team with four kills and sophomore middle blocker Meg Mersman contributed three kills. The Flames came out in the second match with a brand new swagger. The visitors came out swinging and quickly traded back and forth with Lipscomb for the first half of volleys in the second set. Neither team went on a streak of at least three points until the Flames broke a 14-14 tie with a five-point burst with kills from senior middle blocker Aspen Thompson, junior outside hitter Rajini Fitzmaurice and freshman right-side hitter Kennedi Sutter. After the teams traded two errors a piece,...