Lipscomb dismantles Vermont in battle of mid-major powers

Lipscomb dismantles Vermont in battle of mid-major powers

Lipscomb and Vermont both entered Friday’s contest at Allen Arena ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. The No. 23 Catamounts (9-4) were riding a six-game winning streak that included victories over George Mason, Harvard and St. Bonaventure. No. 11 Lipscomb clearly didn’t want to join that list. The Bisons (9-3) delivered perhaps their most complete performance of the season to down Vermont, 91-66. “That was as good as we’ve played against a good team since I’ve been here,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “I’m really proud of how our team played on both ends of the floor.” Lipscomb shot 58 percent (34-of-59) from the field and only missed six total shots in the first half. The Bisons also limited Vermont to its second-lowest scoring output of the season and held the Catamounts well below their average of 77.2 points per game. “Our huge emphasis this year has been defense,” Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews said. “If we can hold people down, we can score more than [them].” Mathews led the Bisons with 22 points, while Rob Marberry added 21. It was the 46th time in Mathews’ career that he has scored 20 or more points, the most of any current ASUN player. Six of his seven field goal makes came from beyond the arc. “Rob’s a great player, and I enjoy playing with him so much,” Mathews said. “Everyone has to pay a lot of attention to him. When you have a post like [Marberry], it’s easy to get stuff outside.” Vermont showed signs of fatigue after narrow wins over Northeastern and St. Bonaventure earlier in the week, while...
Lipscomb gives Louisville major scare, falls just short of upset

Lipscomb gives Louisville major scare, falls just short of upset

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When Jordan Nwora scored Louisville’s first 11 points on Tuesday, it appeared it might be a long night for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team. But after making some defensive adjustments, the Bisons gave the Cardinals all they could handle in what was nearly a massive upset. However, a Kenny Cooper turnover with 1:03 left was followed by a fadeaway jumper from Louisville’s Christen Cunningham, giving the Cardinals a narrow, 72-68 victory at the KFC Yum! Center. Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews led the Bisons with 20 points after producing a combined 10 in his last two outings against Belmont and Navy. The senior said he hopes the Louisville experience will help prepare the Bisons for March basketball. “I think we can play with anybody,” Mathews said. “I don’t think we can beat everybody, but I think we can play with anybody and give everybody a game. It’s good experience for hopefully when we make the [NCAA] tournament.” Lipscomb (7-3) shot just 35 percent (23-of-65) from the floor – well below its season average of 47 percent. But the Bisons went on an 8-0 run just before the break to cut Louisville’s halftime lead to 34-33. “It wasn’t our best performance by any stretch,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “Louisville had a lot to do with that, obviously. We put ourselves in position where we had a chance late. That shows a lot of grit and fight, so I’m proud of our team for that.” Lipscomb trailed by as many as 12 with 14:35 left to play, but a pair of threes from Mathews and baskets by Cooper...
Bisons eclipse 100-point mark in bounce-back win over Navy

Bisons eclipse 100-point mark in bounce-back win over Navy

Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander was not happy with his team despite leading Navy 52-45 at halftime on Sunday. The Midshipmen offense entered the contest only averaging 62.5 points per game – good for 336th in the nation. “I just didn’t think we were dialed in defensively,” Alexander said. “I didn’t think our energy was very good. [Navy] made all the effort plays in the first half.” The Bisons (7-2) dialed up the defense in the second half and continued an offensive onslaught that resulted in a 107-81 blowout victory over Navy at Allen Arena. It was Lipscomb’s first 100-point performance of the season. Lipscomb made its post presence felt throughout the contest as Rob Marberry and Ahsan Asadullah finished with 26 and 24 points, respectively. The pair combined to shoot 20-of-24 from the field and 10-of-12 from the charity strip. “50 points out of our five spot is pretty good,” Alexander said. “[They] were highly efficient.” The Bisons also shot nearly 47 percent (10-of-21) from beyond the arc, making for a lethal attack that Navy could not match. “We just need a balanced [offense],” Marberry said. “With any of our five players on the court, we’re going to have a good guard and post presence. We’re excited to have that balance and depth this year.” Navy (3-6) was led by redshirt freshman guard John Carter Jr., who had 17 points in what was a homecoming of sorts for him. Carter is a Spring Hill native that graduated from Summit High School in 2017. George Kiernan (15 points), Cam Davis (13) and Josiah Strong (11) also finished in double figures for...
COLUMN: There’s a silver lining to the disappointing Belmont losses

COLUMN: There’s a silver lining to the disappointing Belmont losses

This year’s Lipscomb basketball team may be one of the most talented the school has ever assembled. They just won’t be remembered by their Belmont performances. Although senior Nathan Moran had a chance to win it with a fadeaway three as the clock expired, the Bruins played like the better team for most of what became a 76-74 Belmont victory at the Curb Event Center Tuesday night. This one hurts a bit more because it came less than three weeks after an 87-83 home loss to the Bruins on Nov. 15. The Bisons are now 6-2, with both defeats at the hands of their archrival. Lipscomb also missed out on two opportunities for quality wins because Belmont (7-1) appears to be primed for a stellar year and possibly an OVC title. But these losses won’t define Lipscomb’s season. In fact, the very opposite is true. Short of a near-perfect season, the Bisons won’t be in consideration for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. They must win the ASUN tournament title or they’ll be heading to the NIT, CIT or watching March basketball from home, regardless of how the rest of the regular season goes. That’s because the ASUN is simply too weak of a conference. Only four of the nine ASUN teams are currently in the top 250 of the NCAA’s new NET ranking system. Lipscomb’s strength of schedule will diminish as it enters ASUN play, and its chances for quality wins will be minimal. But Tuesday’s Battle of the Boulevard wasn’t all bad. Lipscomb didn’t play its best basketball yet still managed to give the Bruins all...
Five takeaways from Lipscomb’s victory in Murfreesboro

Five takeaways from Lipscomb’s victory in Murfreesboro

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – It had been more than a decade since Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee last met on the hardwood. Despite being separated by just 40 miles, the two teams previously played on Nov. 16, 2007, when the Blue Raiders took a 68-62 win at Murphy Center. “We’ve talked on and off,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “I talked to [former Middle Tennessee coach] Kermit [Davis] a few times, and it just didn’t work out one way or another. It’s great for us – it’s a good local game. We’ll see if it continues, but that’s just kind of the way it goes.” Saturday’s long-awaited battle did not disappoint – at least for Lipscomb fans. The Bisons used four double-digit scorers to pull away from Middle Tennessee in an 84-74 victory. Lipscomb survives another tough road test Since dropping to Belmont at home on Nov. 15, the Bisons have now reeled off four-straight road victories. The 6-1 start is Lipscomb’s best since the 2004-05 season. Middle Tennessee (3-5) did not make things easy. Antonio Green had 21 first-half points, and the Blue Raiders held a narrow 38-37 advantage at the break. “I’ve got a lot of respect for [Middle Tennessee],” Alexander said. “We had to fight really hard, we had to make a lot of plays, and we just happened to be on the right end of experience.” Mathews drops 29 points, nearing 2,000 for his career Lipscomb’s Garrison Mathews is nearing another major statistical milestone. The senior guard scored 29 points on Saturday to move into 10th place on Lipscomb’s all-time leading scoring list with 1,868 career points. He...