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...
Lipscomb Women’s Basketball kicks off 2017-2018 season

Lipscomb Women’s Basketball kicks off 2017-2018 season

The Lipscomb women’s basketball team hasn’t had a winning record since the 2003-04 season, when the Bisons went 20-12 and advanced to the NCAA tournament. That isn’t keeping sixth-year head coach Greg Brown from pointing out the positives – even if his team went 6-24 last year. Lipscomb had 10 new players on its roster in 2016-17, including six true freshmen and four transfers. “You go from 10 newcomers last year and having to introduce everything, but now they know what’s going on,” Brown said. “It makes things easier and the players know what to expect as far as travel and game preparation go.” This year’s roster features seven seniors and a wealth of experience. Brown hopes that will help the Bisons improve, despite being picked to finish last in the ASUN. “We have to do three simple things defensively: keep the ball out of the paint, contest shots and block out,” Brown said of the team’s keys to success. “I feel good about our shooting, so we just need to take care of the ball and get some [defensive] stops.” Five things to watch this season: Coaching staff shakeup Lipscomb overhauled its coaching staff with the additions of new assistants in Hannah Phillips and Aaron Holland. Phillips played for the Bisons from 2009-13 and briefly played professionally in Australia following her collegiate career. Holland was the head coach at Motlow State Community College before joining the Lipscomb staff this offseason. “We’ve had more energy and the players have enjoyed having [the new coaches],” Brown said. “Both coaches bring tons of energy to what we’re doing and we needed that.” New...
Women’s soccer suffers heartbreaking OT loss in ASUN final

Women’s soccer suffers heartbreaking OT loss in ASUN final

For the first half of Sunday’s ASUN final, the Lipscomb women’s soccer team was within arm’s reach of its first-ever conference title. Florida Gulf Coast was not having any part of it. The Eagles recovered from a 2-0 deficit with two second-half tallies and a double-overtime goal to top the Bisons, 3-2, at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex. With the victory, FGCU took its fourth-consecutive ASUN championship and clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament. “We had a really difficult semifinal that drained us – probably more than FGCU’s semifinal drained them,” Lipscomb coach Kevin O’Brien said. “We kind of ran out of gas. We didn’t have the legs we needed to push through it.” FGCU downed Lipscomb in both the 2015 and 2016 title games, and ultimately had the Bisons’ number once again this year, as Varin Ness scored a breakaway goal to lift the Eagles in sudden-death overtime. “To lose the conference final in Golden Goal…these girls are going to be hurting,” O’Brien said. “But I tell them each and every week that their identity isn’t found in soccer.” With 19 minutes left in the first half, Lipscomb went up 1-0 when Hannah Torbett rocketed a shot off the post and into the back of the net. The tally – Torbett’s first of the season – came from nearly 25 yards out. 12 minutes later, Lipscomb’s Ellen Lundy made it 2-0 with her eighth goal of the season. The score came off a cross from Olivia Doak that was headed to Lundy by Arielle Hansford. FGCU’s Holly Fritz and Camille Knudstrup each tallied second-half goals to knot the...
TITLE BOUND: Bailey lifts women’s soccer to win over Kennesaw, rematch with FGCU

TITLE BOUND: Bailey lifts women’s soccer to win over Kennesaw, rematch with FGCU

For the third consecutive year, the Lipscomb women’s soccer team will play Florida Gulf Coast for the ASUN title. Unlike the previous two meetings, the 2017 edition of the championship game will be played in Nashville. The Bisons used an early goal from Justis Bailey to defeat Kennesaw State 1-0 at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Friday, setting up a chance for revenge against the Eagles on Sunday. “It was a competitive tournament game,” Lipscomb coach Kevin O’Brien said. “You could feel the tension, the emotion and the passion – it was all on display. It was incredible.” Bailey’s goal came in the 11th minute, when the junior defender received a pass from Natalie Duboise and headed the ball into the top right corner of the net. The tally was Bailey’s first of her career. “I’ll be honest with you – I’m completely shocked that’s her first one,” O’Brien said of Bailey’s goal. “She’s very good in the air and (the goal) came at the perfect time. She’s been a great player for us this year, and she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.” Lipscomb had numerous scoring chances in the second half but was unable to cash in on any of its opportunities for an insurance goal. Senior Ellen Lundy opened the second half with a header off the post, and later sophomore Jordan Walsh sent a shot just over the crossbar. Lipscomb forward Olivia Doak found the back of the net with 20 minutes remaining, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul. “A second goal could have taken the steam out of the game, but we weren’t able...