Olley is Mr. Do-It-All for Lipscomb basketball

Olley is Mr. Do-It-All for Lipscomb basketball

The first-ever game played at Allen Arena featured a 65-foot, game-winning shot from Lipscomb’s Clayton Osborn, giving the Bisons a 75-74 victory over North Texas on November 27, 2001. The memory of that play lives on in a “2001” shot promotion, where a student attempts a heave from the same spot in hopes of winning $2,001 dollars at each Lipscomb home game. During this season’s opener against Emory, the promotion went awry when an attempt missed the goal and went straight for the Lipscomb team, who had their backs turned to the action. Who was there to protect the huddle? None other than student manager Zack Olley, who quickly sidestepped a coach and punched the ball out of mid-air and safely away from the team meeting. Such is the life of a college basketball manager. Olley’s position emphasizes the details that won’t necessarily be recognized or seen by many. “You have to have a servant’s heart because you’re doing things behind the scenes that are for the good of others,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said of Olley’s manager role. “It’s almost like if you get noticed, you’ve done something wrong.” The senior does everything from laundry to filling water bottles to rounding up basketballs before and after games and practices. In return, Olley receives a small scholarship and behind-the-scenes access to a Division I basketball program. The Galloway, New Jersey native has spent the last four years with the Bisons basketball team, working long hours while balancing the job with his school demands. Despite not wearing a uniform, Olley spends so much time with the team that he’s sometimes...
Lipscomb’s Caleb Joseph readies for fifth season with Orioles

Lipscomb’s Caleb Joseph readies for fifth season with Orioles

If you heard the crack of a wooden bat at Lipscomb this winter, there’s a good chance it came from former Bisons star Caleb Joseph. That’s because the current Baltimore Orioles catcher spent four days a week working out on campus this offseason. Joseph is set to report to the Orioles on Tuesday for the start of spring training in Sarasota, Florida. “I’m usually up in McQuiddy (Gym) because it’s too cold outside,” Joseph said. “Everything I need is here, so I’m usually the guy carrying a wood bat and a bag of balls around, trying to not create too much distraction.” 2017 served as a bounce-back year for Joseph, who did not register a single RBI in an injury-plagued 2016 campaign. Last season, the Franklin native hit .256 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 89 games played. “When you have a historically bad season, there’s only way to go, and that’s up,” Joseph said. “I came back (to Lipscomb) and worked my tail off. I spent a lot of time in the McQuiddy cages trying to iron some things out. That work translated, and hopefully I can repeat that this season.” Now in his fifth year with the Orioles, the seasoned veteran is looking to lead his team back to the playoffs after winning the AL East title in 2014. “If the team does well, normally your personal stats turn out (okay),” Joseph said. “I’d love to help the team try to win another AL East title. That was an unbelievable feeling and hopefully (this) year is our year.” Joseph, who played for the Bisons from...
How Lipscomb’s Garrison Mathews went from untouted prospect to mid-major star

How Lipscomb’s Garrison Mathews went from untouted prospect to mid-major star

As Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews goes, so do the Bisons. The junior currently ranks 12th in the NCAA in scoring with 22.1 points per game and is regarded as one of the best mid-major players in the nation. But Mathews wasn’t always a sure lock to be a star. He had limited college options coming out of Franklin High School in 2015, touting just four Division I offers from Lipscomb, USC Upstate, UMass Lowell and Austin Peay. “I took official (visits) to Upstate and Lowell,” Mathews said. “Ultimately, going to (Lipscomb) was the best decision for me. I felt like I fit in with the players here.” However, Mathews wasn’t initially Coach Casey Alexander’s top priority. “We had been recruiting somebody else longer, and we told that player we were going to wait for his decision,” Alexander said. “We put Garrison on hold, and it turned out the other guy picked a different school.” The Bisons then extended an offer to Mathews, who jumped at the chance to play close to home. But one has to wonder: did being the second choice put a chip on his shoulder? “I guess a little bit,” he said. “I was just excited to get here. It was a blessing to get a Division I offer, because that’s something I dreamed of as a little kid.” The 6-foot-3 guard has played in all 23 games this season and has already totaled 508 points as of Feb. 2. Last season, he became the fastest Lipscomb player to reach 1,000 career points, needing just 65 games to reach the feat. “We’re really lucky that things...
Lady Bisons drop heartbreaker to Stetson at home

Lady Bisons drop heartbreaker to Stetson at home

The Lipscomb women’s basketball team went into Saturday’s game against Stetson hoping to pick up its third conference win in four tries. However, poor shooting and rebounding ultimately doomed Lipscomb’s hope of continuing their recent hot streak. The Lady Bisons (6-13, 2-2 ASUN) shot just 30.8 percent (16-of-52) from the field and gave up 22 offensive rebounds, allowing Stetson to take a 59-55 victory in Allen Arena. “I thought we did a heck of a job defensively to hold them to 59 points,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. “The problem was they scored off the offensive rebounds. You can’t allow that to happen and expect to win.” Stetson (12-8, 3-1 ASUN) held a slim 25-24 lead at halftime, and the game was knotted at 39 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Lady Bisons faltered down the stretch and were outscored 20-16 in the final quarter. Lipscomb freshman guard Taylor Clark set a new career-high with 21 points, while also grabbing four rebounds and making several hustle plays to fight for loose balls. “That’s her – she plays with great energy and effort, and she’ll only continue to get better,” Brown said. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the shooting woes of Lipscomb senior Loren Cagle. Fresh off a career performance of 31 points at North Florida on Monday, Cagle went just 1-of-15 from the field on Saturday, finishing with four points. “Loren’s a heck of a player,” Brown said. “I’m not worried about her shooting, because she did a lot of other things well.” Lipscomb largely neutralized Stetson’s high-powered offense as Brittney Chambers (19 points), McKenna Beach...
Lady Bisons finding their groove as ASUN play heats up

Lady Bisons finding their groove as ASUN play heats up

Just three games into the ASUN slate, the Lipscomb women’s basketball team has already equaled its total of six victories from last season. That includes two conference wins and three victories in the last four contests. What’s been the difference this time around? Coach Greg Brown said he believes it’s a combination of new coaches, new personnel and a focus on continual improvement. “We’ve tried to teach a growth mentality,” Brown said. “We played some tough games in the non-conference schedule and tried to learn from each of them. [The team] is putting some of those lessons in action now, and they’re reaping the benefits.” The Lady Bisons (6-12, 2-1 ASUN) are fresh off a 73-69 win at North Florida on Monday, when senior guard Loren Cagle poured in a career-high 31 points. Cagle’s offensive production has nearly doubled – she’s up to 17.4 points per game this year versus 8.9 points per game last season – thanks in part to the emergence of young point guards like Lauren Rau, Lexi Manos and Carleigh Short. “Last year we relied on [Cagle] a lot,” Brown said. “Rau was sick and [Manos and Short] were both freshmen. We’ve been able to take the pressure off Cagle and that’s allowed her to be more aggressive.” In addition to Cagle’s improvement, redshirt freshman Emily Kmec has challenged opposing defenses with her height and shooting ability. The Carmel, Indiana, native is 47-of-133 (35 percent) from beyond the arc and is second on the team in rebounds with 79. “Kmec has come in and changed some of our dynamics by being able to stretch the floor,”...