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 the Midshipmen.
Lipscomb went on a 15-0 run early in the second half to pull away from Navy. Nathan Moran (14 points) and Kenny Cooper (10) both finished in double figures along with Marberry and Asadullah. 12 of Lipscomb’s 14 healthy players registered at least one basket.
The victory came just five days after a disappointing, 76-74 loss at rival Belmont, and as the players are in the middle of final exams.
“I try hard to minimize the distractions from exams,” Alexander said. “But sometimes just keeping a normal routine is actually more helpful. Guys have to manage their time better and kind of stay on task.”
Alexander said the Lipscomb-Navy series is likely to continue for the next two seasons. Lipscomb topped the Midshipmen by a score of 73-64 in Annapolis last December.
The novelty of playing a service academy was not lost on Marberry, who said he’d also like to see Lipscomb play Army and Air Force in the future.
“I thanked a couple of those guys for their service during the game,” Marberry said. “What they do for the country is incredible. Basketball is such a small part of life, and they’re sacrificing their whole lives for us.”
Lipscomb will travel to Louisville for a contest with the 6-3 Cardinals on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at the KFC YUM! Center.
“I told [the team] that Louisville will be as solid on both ends of the floor as anybody we’ve played,” Alexander said.
“They’re not as talented as the Louisville teams that we’re used to seeing in the Final Four, but Coach [Chris] Mack has done a great job of grinding out game after game. It’ll be a good test and good experience.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics