Lipscomb sweeps Battle of the Boulevard with another win over Belmont

Lipscomb sweeps Battle of the Boulevard with another win over Belmont

If traffic gets stopped on Belmont Boulevard on Wednesday, there’s no need to be alarmed – it’s just the Lipscomb faithful staking claim to the street. For the second straight week, Lipscomb topped archival Belmont – this one a 69-54 victory at Allen Arena. The Bisons also defeated the Bruins by a score of 74-66 in the season’s first addition of the Battle of the Boulevard on Nov. 27. “Not many teams do that to them,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said of beating the Bruins twice. “They’re a great team, and that’s why it means so much for us to win it.” Junior guard Garrison Mathews powered the Bisons with 26 points, despite suffering an apparent injury in an overtime victory over Tennessee State on Saturday. Mathews wore a sleeve on his right knee and appeared to be operating close to full strength. “We thought he was out for the season 48 hours ago, so I’m glad he’s not,” Alexander said. “It seemed like every time we needed something good to happen, [Garrison] was in the right place.” 20 of Mathews’ points came in the second half, including a stretch of six straight points after Belmont went on an 8-0 run midway through the second half. Lipscomb led 28-20 at halftime and pulled away from the Bruins when its offense came alive late in the game. Sophomore guard Kenny Cooper also proved to be a key cog in the win, and he set a new career high in points with 18. “He’s gaining more and more control of the offense, and that’s what we need out of him,” Alexander said of...
Lipscomb downs Belmont to end streak, retakes Boulevard 

Lipscomb downs Belmont to end streak, retakes Boulevard 

For at least the next week, Belmont Boulevard belongs to Lipscomb. The Bisons basketball team had to hold off a late rally from the Bruins, but ultimately pulled out a 74-66 road win at Curb Event Center. Lipscomb’s victory snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Bruins, marking the first time since January 2012 that the Bisons have claimed a “Battle of the Boulevard” matchup. “The reason this win feels so good is because [Belmont] is a great team,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “This win is incredibly meaningful for our players and for our school.” Junior guard Garrison Mathews poured in 22 points to lead the Bisons, while teammate Rob Marberry chipped in 18. The ending provided plenty of excitement, but the first half was a much different story as the two teams combined for 13 turnovers. The game was knotted at just 26 apiece at halftime. “I thought the first half was pretty sloppy on both sides,” Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. “[Lipscomb] was just the better team, and they were certainly the better-coached team.” The Bisons started the second half with a 14-0 run to swing the momentum in their favor. However, Belmont slowly clawed back and eventually cut Lipscomb’s lead to 64-63 with 3:14 left to play. “We weren’t too nervous – teams are going to go on runs,” Marberry said of Belmont’s attempted comeback. “We were confident that we could get the win.” Lipscomb used two pivotal moments to pull away from the Bruins in crunch time. The first came via a Kenny Cooper steal, and the sophomore finished with a layup on the other end...
Men’s soccer sees season end with NCAA tourney loss to Butler

Men’s soccer sees season end with NCAA tourney loss to Butler

Despite numerous chances on goal, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team couldn’t get its offense going on Thursday evening – spelling the demise of its 2017 season. The Butler Bulldogs used a pair of Brandon Guhl goals to top the Bisons, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Sellick Bowl. Lipscomb (11-8-2) finished with a total of 16 shots, and seniors Ivan Alvarado, Ivan Sakou and Kyle Smith each had three attempts apiece. The Bulldogs (13-4-2) found the net just 7:29 into the game when Guhl snuck a shot past Lipscomb goalkeeper Christopher Zappia, who had come off his line to attempt a save. That scoreline held the rest of the half. In the 77th minute, Guhl added an insurance goal off a long pass from teammate Kieran Geldenhuys. It was Guhl’s team-leading 12th tally of the season. Lipscomb was making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance after topping Jacksonville, 2-1, for the ASUN title last Saturday. It was the Bisons’ first ASUN title since joining the conference and NCAA Division I in 2003. The Bisons graduate 10 seniors including: Alvarado, Sakou, Smith, Eduardo Reza, Cameron Botes, Joe Kerridge, Scout Monteith, Jonathan Ramirez, Anthony Bellini and Brandon Braumuller. Butler advanced to the second round of the tournament and will take on VCU on Sunday in Richmond, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Lipscomb...
Strong second half propels Bisons past Emory in season opener

Strong second half propels Bisons past Emory in season opener

The Lipscomb men’s basketball team struggled in the early going of Friday’s season opener, but a strong second-half effort was enough for a 98-83 victory over Emory at Allen Arena. “It wasn’t pretty because (Emory) is good,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “Naturally, we can play a lot better – but they had a lot to do with why we didn’t play well.” Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews led all scorers with 37 points – just two shy of his career high of 39. “He’s a load, especially when he puts his head down to get to the rim,” Alexander said. “He wants the ball, and our guys have confidence in him.” At halftime, the game was knotted at 43 after the Eagles gave the Bisons all they could handle in the first 20 minutes of play. “I didn’t think we were missing effort or desire, but I did think we were a little bit off,” Alexander said. “We needed to increase our intensity level just a notch.” That’s exactly what they did. Lipscomb’s offense exploded in the second half, and – led by Mathews – the Bisons outscored Emory 55-40 after the break. Mathews was quick to deflect the praise to his teammates and noted that Emory is a “well-coached” team. “I give props to my teammates – they gave me the ball,” Mathews said of his performance. “It was the first game of the year and everybody struggles in the first game a little bit. That was a tough team, so I’m just happy to get the win.” Sophomore Michael Buckland filled in for injured point guards Kenny Cooper and...
SEASON PREVIEW: Lipscomb men’s basketball set to open 2017-18 campaign

SEASON PREVIEW: Lipscomb men’s basketball set to open 2017-18 campaign

There are plenty of reasons to believe that this could be the year for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team to make its first-ever NCAA tournament. However, a tough schedule, multiple injuries and Florida Gulf Coast stand in the way of the Bisons’ dream of an ASUN title. Those obstacles aren’t keeping coach Casey Alexander from being excited to start the season this Friday against Emory University. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. at Allen Arena. “It’s about having the mentality of trying to get better every day, rather than looking at the big picture,” Alexander said. “We’re looking at what’s right in front of us and our guys have had a great mentality this offseason.” Six storylines to watch this season: How can Lipscomb navigate its tough schedule? The Bisons scheduled a challenging non-conference slate that includes the likes of Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, Purdue and Navy. Last December, Lipscomb upset Missouri on the road by beating the Tigers 81-76 and also played a tight game with Tennessee – a 92-77 loss in Knoxville. “We’ll go into each of those preparing and expecting to win,” Alexander said. “We saw last year at Missouri that we can win those kinds of games. The most important thing is to be who we are, no matter who we are playing.” When will point guards get healthy? Senior guard Nathan Moran and sophomore guard Kenny Cooper will both miss Friday’s season opener. Moran is still recovering from offseason surgery, while Cooper suffered a lower-leg injury during preseason practice. It’s unclear when either player will be healthy, but Alexander said Cooper could return to the...