Meet Lipscomb basketball’s dancing superfan, Conner Mirt

Meet Lipscomb basketball’s dancing superfan, Conner Mirt

If you’ve been to a Lipscomb basketball game, you’ve probably seen Conner Mirt dance. That’s because Mirt often makes himself the halftime entertainment at Allen Arena, much to the delight of the crowd. “The first time we saw it, we were in shock,” said Deb Mirt, Conner’s mother. “Then it went viral – somebody filmed it and put it on Facebook. He likes to get the crowd riled up.” Conner, who has Down syndrome, is a 2016 graduate of Lipscomb’s IDEAL program, which was created to offer a full college experience to students with intellectual and/or development disabilities. The 27-year-old is one of the biggest supporters of Lipscomb’s men’s and women’s basketball. Conner gives Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander a hug after every game, and he’s often seen encouraging the team from the stands or the sideline with a huge smile on his face. “He’s nothing but a positive influence on us, and we try hard to be the same for him,” Alexander said. “It’s a great relationship that we have with him.” That infectious grin has made Mirt a celebrity of sorts at Lipscomb. The men’s team threw him a birthday celebration after their win over Jacksonville on Feb. 9. He was one of the first people to the floor to congratulate the women’s team on its first ASUN victory that same day. “They all take care of him,” said Mike Mirt, Conner’s father. “It’s really amazing to watch.” But Conner and his family don’t just go to home games. They often attend practices and travel to select road games, along with players’ families like the Morans, the Peppers,...
BREAKING: Greg Brown out as Lipscomb women’s basketball coach

BREAKING: Greg Brown out as Lipscomb women’s basketball coach

Lipscomb women’s basketball coach Greg Brown will not return next season, the school’s athletic department announced Friday afternoon. The news follows a disappointing season in which the Lady Bisons went 4-25 and lost 19 games in a row from mid-November to early February. The team missed the ASUN tournament for the first time since 2013. “I appreciate the effort, care for our student athletes, conscientiousness and work on behalf of our school that Greg, [and assistants] Hannah [Phillips], Aaron [Holland], Clay [Crothers] and Kelsey [Gregory] have given this year and during the rest of their time with us,” Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson said in a release. Brown compiled a 44-161 overall record in his seven seasons at Lipscomb. His best campaign came in 2017-18, when Lipscomb went 12-19 and beat USC Upstate in the ASUN Quarterfinals. Senior Loren Cagle led that team with 17.2 points and won ASUN Player of the Year honors. Brown is a 1993 Lipscomb graduate and began his coaching career as a student assistant under legendary Lipscomb men’s basketball coach Don Meyer. He eventually worked as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach under Pat Summit at Tennessee in the early 2000s. In 2012, Lipscomb hired him away from Central Florida, where he was the associate head coach. “Greg is as good [of] a person, husband, father, co-worker and friend as you are likely to find,” Hutcheson said. “All of his assistants are all quality and talented people too, and I appreciate everything about them as well.” Hutcheson will immediately begin the search for a new coach. Phillips will continue to work with the...
CHAMPIONSHIP BOUND: Lipscomb earns return trip to ASUN title with convincing win over NJIT

CHAMPIONSHIP BOUND: Lipscomb earns return trip to ASUN title with convincing win over NJIT

One year after winning its first ASUN title, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team has earned a chance to defend its crown. The Bisons (25-6) dominated NJIT in a 78-55 ASUN semifinal victory on Thursday in Allen Arena. That sets up a rubber match with Liberty (27-6) on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT for the ASUN tournament title and a spot in the Big Dance. The game will be televised by ESPN – Lipscomb’s first-ever national television appearance at home. The Bisons topped Florida Gulf Coast 108-96 in last year’s championship, but this time, the big stage is coming to Green Hills. “It’s a big day for our campus, our program and everybody that cares about our school,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “I’m happy that our players have put themselves in a position to be here and enjoy that moment.” Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews came out of the gate hot. He scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the contest and finished with 22 total to lead the Bisons. The senior also had nine rebounds and five assists. After Mathews sank a three in the early going, Alexander looked behind the bench to exchange a smile with Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson. “I turned around and looked at [Hutcheson], and we both knew what the other was thinking,” Alexander said. “[Garrison] can score the basketball, and he does it in pretty impressive fashion. He’s always been able to score, but now he scores a little bit deeper and a little more on the move.” NJIT kept pace with the Bisons thanks to shooting 48 percent in the...
ASUN Semifinal Preview: Lipscomb, NJIT set to battle with championship spot on the line

ASUN Semifinal Preview: Lipscomb, NJIT set to battle with championship spot on the line

Just four teams remain in the ASUN tournament, and only two will still be standing after tonight. No. 1 Lipscomb and No. 5 NJIT will battle at Allen Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday, while North Florida and Liberty will clash for the other spot. The two semifinal winners will then meet for the ASUN tournament title on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT (TV: ESPN). The Bisons hold a 7-2 series lead over the Highlanders, but NJIT nearly pulled an upset on Lipscomb’s Senior Night on Feb. 25. Four late free throws from senior Garrison Mathews helped Lipscomb fend off NJIT’s furious second-half comeback attempt, and the Bisons pulled out an 81-77 victory. But on Jan. 16, the two programs met in Newark, New Jersey, and the result was much different. Behind 23 points from Rob Marberry and 17 from Matt Rose, the Bisons cruised to a 70-52 victory over the Highlanders. You can listen to tonight’s game LIVE HERE on Lumination Radio or watch it on ESPN+. BREAKING DOWN THE HIGHLANDERS: NJIT (21-11) finished the regular season on a sour note by losing six of its final eight games. But the Highlanders made up for that by upsetting No. 4 Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 83-78 in Monday’s ASUN quarterfinal in Fort Myers, Florida. Highlander guards Zach Cooks and Diandre Wilson were both outstanding and combined to score 51 points. Big-bodied forward Abdul Lewis, an ASUN first teamer, added 18 points of his own in 37 minutes of action. The victory was NJIT’s first postseason win in program history. The Highlanders joined the ASUN conference for the...
Lipscomb women’s basketball looks to future after disappointing season

Lipscomb women’s basketball looks to future after disappointing season

For as difficult as the 2018-19 season was for the Lipscomb women’s basketball team, it couldn’t have ended in a better way. Junior Carleigh Short banked a three just as the clock expired in overtime, giving the Lady Bisons a 72-69 victory over Kennesaw State at Allen Arena Tuesday. “The basketball gods smiled on us for once this season,” Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. “It’s good to end that way and get a little bit of momentum to carry us forward.” Lipscomb closed the year with a dismal 4-25 record (2-14 ASUN) and missed the conference tournament for the first time since 2013. The Lady Bisons averaged 21 turnovers per game and shot just 34 percent from the field for the season. “It’s wild how well we’ve played at times versus how poorly we played at other times,” Brown said. “It’s been one extreme or the other. They continued to practice hard and do things well, but they just hadn’t been rewarded.” Was Tuesday’s victory a sign of good things to come? The evidence says that’s a possibility. The Lady Bisons don’t have any seniors, so their entire roster will return, including top scorers Taylor Clark (11.1 PPG) and Lauren Rau (8.5 PPG). Kaylee Cotton took a redshirt due to an injury and will be back next season. They’ve also added three high school signees, and Butler transfer Sydney Shelton will be eligible after sitting out this year. “Not having a senior is definitely weird, but it also gave the freshman and us juniors time to mature,” Short said. “I really think that next year, with three new people...