The Lipscomb Bisons (3-7) took on their in-state rival, the Tennessee State Tigers (7-1), Saturday afternoon inside Allen Arena, with the Bisons eventually falling to the Tigers 72-71.

TSU won the tip-off, but Lipscomb still got off to a hot start. Four minutes into the game, the Bisons led 10-2, thanks to a 50% FG percentage and making 100% of their 3’s to start the game. Sophomore Forward Eli Pepper was a big part of the Bisons’ early successes, making both of his first two chances from the three-point line.

However, the Tigers took their third lead of the game with five minutes left in the first half. The Tigers led the Bisons at the half 41-36. TSU was able to take advantage of the Bisons on the boards in the first half thanks to their size. Lipscomb was outscored in the paint 18-6, and out-rebounded 28-17 in the first half. Sophomore center Rob Marberry led the Bison’s in points going into the half with 13.

“They were really good on the boards and took it to us early,” Lipscomb Head Coach Casey Alexander said after the first half. Alexander said the team needed to pick it up in the second half.

“Play tougher, play with more confidence, be ready to step up and make shots, rebound better and get loose balls better,” Alexander noted.

Tennessee State started with the ball going into the second half and was able to make its first shot, a three to extend the lead to 44-36. The Tigers were able to keep their lead for most of the second half, but they weren’t able to put away Lipscomb just yet.

The Bisons were able to take their first lead of the second half with two minutes and 42 seconds left, thanks to an electrifying three pointer made by Sophomore Guard Garrison Mathews.

The lead would go back and forth during the final two minutes of the game. Lipscomb was able to regain the lead with a 1:06 left 71-70 thanks to Mathews getting fouled and making one of his free throws, but then Tennessee State was able to gain back the lead 72-71 with 8 seconds left because of TSU’s Tahjere McCall making what would become the game winning shot.

Lipscomb had a chance to win the game on a last-second three-pointer, but Junior Guard Nathan Moran was unable to make it in.

The Bisons’ next game will be “Battle of the Boulevard” against Belmont inside of Allen Arena this Tuesday. The Bisons lost a close one last week at Belmont 64-62.

Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics

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