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 was well rested after coasting to a 71-point victory over Covenant on Monday. But Alexander said the Bisons will return the favor and make the 1,000-trip to Burlington next season.
Kenny Cooper (13 points) and Ahsan Asadullah (10 points) both finished in double figures for Lipscomb. Vermont’s Anthony Lamb and Stef Smith each had 21 points apiece.
Lipscomb guard Greg Jones missed his second-straight game with a knee injury. Alexander said the Bisons are being cautious with the sophomore and rested him because “it was better to be safe than sorry.”
The Bisons have five days off before they return to campus on Dec. 26 to prepare for their final nonconference game at Clemson (8-3) on Dec. 30.
“Five days will feel like an eternity,” Alexander said. “Hopefully that’ll be enough time for everyone to get refreshed but miss it enough that we’re ready to go when we get back.”
The contest at Clemson gives Lipscomb one final chance for a resume booster before ASUN action begins on Jan. 5 at Jacksonville.
“We’re playing with house money right now,” Alexander said. “We just need to go [to Clemson] with nothing to lose and see what happens.”
Women’s basketball stretches losing streak to nine in loss to Tennessee Tech
The Lipscomb women’s basketball has struggled to stay healthy this season, and the ensuing results have not been kind to the Lady Bisons.
By dropping a 67-52 defeat to Tennessee Tech Friday, Lipscomb (2-9) extended its losing streak to nine games.
Freshman guard Jane Deason led the Lady Bisons with 12 points, while Taylor Clark also finished in double figures with 11. Lipscomb’s Emily Kmec, Kaylee Cotton and Taylor Hammack each missed the contest due to injury.
Lipscomb managed just 15 points in the first half, before exploding for 23 points in the third quarter. However, it was too little too late. Tennessee Tech (6-3) had three players finish in double figures – Jordan Brock (14 points), Mackenzie Brady (11) and Lacy Cantrell (10).
The Lady Bisons will look to regroup during Christmas break next week. The team returns to action at Morehead State on Dec. 29 at 11 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics