Lipscomb has defended its home court well this season.
The Bisons held again with an 86-77 victory over Jacksonville University Saturday at Allen Arena.
The game started out with the fast pace and intensity that is customary to a Bisons team that leads the ASUN in points per game, and the team jumped out to an early four-point lead. It looked like Lipscomb (20-4, 11-0 ASUN) might cruise to another victory.
The Dolphins (11-15, 4-7 ASUN) had other plans. Jacksonville would quickly tie the game up again. The Bisons tried to consistently change the lineup but could not find one that allowed them to open the half up.
“We couldn’t get any real rhythm and make a run to extend the lead,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “They were playing well; I felt like we just had to keep trying different combinations to see what would work the best.”
From then on, the half was a back-and-forth affair, one that consisted of a total of 15 lead changes and five ties that lasted for over four-and-a-half minutes of game time.
Near the end of a frustrating half for the Bisons, senior guard Garrison Mathews committed a technical foul directly after senior forward Eli Pepper had committed a personal. Jacksonville had the game tied up again after four free throws.
Mathews, the leading scorer in the ASUN conference, had an otherwise quiet night by his standards. The Dolphins were able to keep him under control, as he shot 5-of-11 and totaled 16 points.
Lipscomb jumped out to an eight-point lead coming out of the second half. The Bisons would never relinquish the lead.
“That’s just the way a 40-minute game goes,” Alexander said. “There’s a lot of those runs.”
The hero for Lipscomb was Pepper. He led the team in points, rebounds and assists. He was a force to be reckoned with in and around the paint and from deep, going 3-of-4 on three-pointers.
Pepper essentially sealed the game for the Bisons with a slam and an and-one on the same play that put the team ahead by nine with just under a minute to play.
“[Mathews] gave me a great pass, and my guy happened to double team Kenny [Cooper],” Pepper said. “He just found me at the right time, and that guy made a poor decision jumping.”
The Bisons had five players in double figures: Michael Buckland (10), Ahsan Asadullah (12), Cooper (17), Pepper (27), and Mathews (16). The Dolphins had three of their own in double figures: JD Notae (21), Tyreese Davis (17) and DeAnthony McCallum (18).
Lipscomb looks to continue its winning ways against Liberty University on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Allen Arena. Liberty is only one game behind in the ASUN standings, having lost to Lipscomb less than two weeks ago.
“That’s a great team,” Pepper said. “Nobody’s gonna be more ready to beat us than them.”
Photo by Lipscomb Athletics