11 scorers get involved as Bisons blowout Morehead State, 87-55

11 scorers get involved as Bisons blowout Morehead State, 87-55

MOREHEAD, Ky. – After grabbing two impressive road wins over SMU and No. 18 TCU, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team continued their impressive run with a defensive shutdown over an OVC program. The Bisons grabbed an 87-55 road victory over the Morehead State Eagles (2-4) Sunday, improving their record to 5-1 on the season. “What I was most concerned about with our team was the mentality that we took to the floor,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “And what I just told them post-game was, I was as pleased as I’ve been in a long time at our effort and desire to just play well.” Redshirt freshman Ahsan Asadullah led Lipscomb with a 15-point performance. 11 total Bisons registered points in the blowout victory. “It was good to see [Asadullah] get back in there and contribute,” Alexander said. “He’s given us good minutes, but he’s gone dry scoring it since the Sewanee game to open the season.” Meanwhile, senior forward Rob Marberry finished second in scoring for Lipscomb. He converted on five of his eight field goal attempts and finished 3-of-4 on free throws for 13 points. Marberry said that the third-consecutive road win “shows that we’re not just the hometown players.” “We want to win every game and not just kind of glide through the season,” he said. The Eagles, who struggled to gain much momentum on either side of the ball, were led by senior forward Lamontray Harris, who scored 15 points. Senior guard A.J. Hicks had a team-high four assists. The game was close at first. With 11:48 left in the first half, the Bisons led...
COLUMN: Lipscomb men’s soccer was an underdog with an asterisk

COLUMN: Lipscomb men’s soccer was an underdog with an asterisk

The Lipscomb men’s soccer team might have been an underdog, but this Cinderella packed quite a punch. The Bisons began the tournament by taking down No. 17 Washington and No. 9 Central Florida, which both clearly underestimated the upstart Lipscomb squad that turned a 1-7 start into an ASUN title. But Lipscomb’s final opponent was not caught napping. Kentucky was simply too well acquainted with the Bisons after the two squads met in each of the last three regular seasons. Kentucky used second-half goals from Jason Reyes and Bailey Rouse to eliminate Lipscomb and advance to the Elite 8, bringing the Cinderella story to a screeching halt. “They’re just good,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said of the Wildcats. “The fact of the matter is, you look at [Kentucky], you look at UCF and you look at Washington, player for player athletically, the teams we’re playing are just better. “And we know that going into the game. That doesn’t mean that we can’t win.” You don’t have to look any further than the team’s most experienced (and arguably best) players to find more underdog tales. Forward Logan Paynter and goalkeeper Chris Zappia began their Lipscomb careers as redshirt nobodies, but the fifth-year seniors are now leaving the program as two of its best players in recent memory. Paynter, a former walk-on, and Zappia were roommates for their freshman season in 2014. Both shared in the frustration of sitting out after being the stars of their high school teams. “I know both of us played quite a bit in high school and with our club and academy teams, and coming to...
HEARTBREAKER: Lipscomb’s Cinderella run ends in Lexington

HEARTBREAKER: Lipscomb’s Cinderella run ends in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Lipscomb men’s soccer team is going home after a hard-fought, 2-1 loss to No. 3 Kentucky in the NCAA Sweet 16. After a 1-7 record to start the year, the Bisons put up an incredible fight the rest of the way. They sneaked through the NCAA tournament with improbable overtime victories against Washington and UCF, but there wasn’t enough magic to give them another. “This run that we’ve had … is in large part due to the leadership of our senior group,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “And [I’m] just really, really proud of them.” Lipscomb’s lone goal came from redshirt senior forward Logan Paynter in the 76th minute. Paynter finished his career with 36 goals – the most in Lipscomb soccer history. “I love Lipscomb more than anything,” Paynter said. “My five years here have been the most amazing time of my life.” His goal tied the game at one shortly after a Wildcat goal from Jason Reyes in the second period, but UK was able to respond with a game-winner from Bailey Rouse in the 81st minute. The Wildcats outshot the Bisons 20-10, and nine of Kentucky shots were on target. “Not necessarily the best soccer teams win,” Morrow said. “But sometimes just…the more athletic teams win.” The first half was all Kentucky. The Wildcats had eleven shots in the first half, with junior forward J.J. Williams grabbing four. Lipscomb could only muster three first-half shots. The Wildcats had only one roadblock: Lipscomb goalkeeper Chris Zappia. The redshirt senior grabbed six saves in the first 45 minutes, and many of those saves were physical stops on...
GAME PREVIEW: Can the Bisons pull another upset at Kentucky?

GAME PREVIEW: Can the Bisons pull another upset at Kentucky?

After back-to-back upset victories of Washington and Central Florida, the Lipscomb Bisons men’s soccer team has become the Cinderella story of the NCAA tournament. The travel-weary Bisons will now make the trek to Lexington for a rematch against the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats, who handed Lipscomb a 3-2 overtime defeat in Nashville on Sept. 18. “It was hard to watch Kentucky walk off our field with a win in a game that we thought we deserved to win,” Lipscomb goalie Chris Zappia said. The winner of Saturday’s game will play the winner of the Duke-Maryland match in the Elite 8 next week. Game information No. 16 Lipscomb (11-9) vs. No. 3 Kentucky (18-1-1) Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT Location: Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex (Lexington, Ky.) TV: SEC Network Plus/WatchESPN Series history These two teams have seen a lot of each other recently. In 2016, the Bisons battled to a 1-1 tie in a game that went to double overtime. Lipscomb forward Josue Chavez scored an early goal and Zappia made six saves, before the Wildcats got on the board in the 70th minute on a tally from Kaelon Fox. In 2017, Lipscomb pulled a 3-2 upset in Lexington behind goals from Logan Paynter, Ivan Sakou and Ryan Birchfield. Zappia made four saves to preserve the victory. Kentucky then returned the favor in overtime this season. Kalil Elmedkhar and Aime Mabika gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead, but Paytner and Birchfield answered with goals of their own in the second half. But J.J. Williams’s chip over Lipscomb goalie Luke Wilson cemented the 3-2 victory for Kentucky. “One of the core...
Zappia now shining for Bisons after waiting his turn

Zappia now shining for Bisons after waiting his turn

It’s safe to say that the Lipscomb men’s soccer team probably wouldn’t still be alive in the NCAA tournament without goalkeeper Chris Zappia. The fifth-year senior made eight saves against both No. 17 Washington and No. 9 Central Florida to help the Bisons pull off two improbable upsets and advance to the Sweet 16 against No. 3 Kentucky. “Chris is shining right now,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “I’d say he’s playing his best, but it’s not like he’s not on par with what his best was last year. He’s been a great goalkeeper for us for several years now.” Zappia boasts a 10-4-1 record in net and has made 61 saves on the year. Entering Saturday’s match against the Wildcats, he has a .782 save percentage and is allowing just 1.07 goals per game. But unlike the six Lipscomb freshmen that are currently playing big roles for the Bisons, Zappia had to patiently wait his turn to become a significant contributor. His first three years in the program were spent behind Micah Bledsoe, who now plays for Nashville SC of the USL. From 2013-16, Bledsoe won 26 starts, had a save percentage of .735 and finished his career with 15 clean sheets. Zappia took over goalkeeping duties in 2017 and was instrumental in leading Lipscomb’s to its first-ever ASUN tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance. He finished the season with 11 wins and a .698 save percentage in 21 starts. “You can look at Chris and what’s he done as a model of perseverance and [how] good things come to those who wait and work hard,” Morrow said....
Lipscomb soccer taking advantage of “underdog” role in NCAA tourney

Lipscomb soccer taking advantage of “underdog” role in NCAA tourney

It’s easy to label the Lipscomb men’s soccer team as an underdog in the NCAA tournament. They just aren’t playing like one. After a sluggish 1-7 start to the season, the Bisons have orchestrated a turnaround of epic proportions. Lipscomb is 10-2 in its last 12 matches, including tournament upsets at No. 17 Washington and at No. 9 Central Florida last week. That sets up a Sweet 16 battle at No. 3 Kentucky this Saturday, when the odds will once again be stacked against Lipscomb. “When people doubt this team, for whatever reason, it seems to fuel the fire,” Lipscomb goalie Chris Zappia said. “It’s nice to show everyone that we’re sort of the David in the [midst] of a bunch of Goliaths at this point.” Those circumstances have allowed the team to play pressure-free on the big stage of the NCAA tournament. “I think that makes us a really dangerous team,” coach Charles Morrow said. “There were games that were harder for us to deal with in our conference tournament because there was that pressure [to win]. “To be able to go out and play free is a beautiful thing. I don’t know that any of these guys really and truly feel that they’re the underdog. They feel like they can beat anyone.” Lipscomb’s 2-0 loss at Butler in the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance last season meant that some of this year’s team already had experience with the high stakes. “We’ve been pretty loose, honestly,” forward Logan Paynter said. “I think last year helped a lot. We were pretty nervous then. This year a lot of the...