The Lipscomb men’s basketball team continued to steamroll through the ASUN as the Bisons grabbed an 86-57 win over the Kennesaw State Owls in Allen Arena Monday night.
The Owls (3-17, 0-5 ASUN) kept things a bit too close for comfort for Lipscomb at first, but the Bisons (14-4, 5-0 ASUN) broke away in the second half to stay perfect in conference play.
“[You’ve] gotta be prepared for everything,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “And I felt like our guys handled the game where we never really played with great rhythm but still [won] by 29.”
The Bisons were led by senior guard Garrison Mathews, who posted 25 points and tied for a team-leading four assists. Senior guard Nathan Moran led the Bisons in three-pointers, shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
“It’s just a start, and we have a lot of work to do,” Moran said. “If we can finish and do another 5-0, and another 5-0 [and] another 5-0, who knows where we’ll be?”
Redshirt junior guard Tyler Hooker scored 18 for the Owls and led his team with five rebounds. Junior forward Isaac Mbuyamba finished with three blocks.
The Bisons went 20-of-27 on free throws compared to the Owls’ 15-of-22. They also out-rebounded Kennesaw State 42-31, with 11 of those coming from senior forward Eli Pepper. Lipscomb won the steal battle, 8-5.
“[Kennesaw State’s] pace is tough for us,” Alexander said. “Their tempo is slow and [they have] a lot of long possessions defensively.”
The Owls played competitively for the first six minutes of the game, as they cut Lipscomb’s 7-2 lead to 11-7 with 14:36 to go in the first.
Lipscomb then went on a 9-3 run to the 9:10 mark, aided by seven combined points from Mathews and senior forward Rob Marberry, to take a 20-10 lead.
Fast forward a bit, and the Bisons led 33-20 with 5:06 left — but the Owls were far from finished.
They responded with an 11-4 run, aided by seven points from redshirt junior guard Tyler Hooker and a dunk from redshirt freshman forward Antonio Spencer. Lipscomb took a 41-33 advantage into halftime.
At the start of the second half, both teams came out of the gate evenly matched, and the Owls trailed 46-39 with 17:20 left. But the Bisons quickly responded with an 11-2 run that lasted just under six minutes, and they led by 16 at the 11:50 mark.
A couple minutes later, the Bisons expanded their lead to 20 points off a Rob Marberry three-point play, and they led 63-43 midway through the second.
Lipscomb then ran away on another 11-2 run, aided by three triples, and led 74-45 with 7:04 left. That practically sealed the deal.
“We were able to just methodically create some separation,” Alexander said. “And that’s why we got the final result.”
The Bisons will play at home against FGCU on Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT in Allen Arena. Lipscomb will continue to chase Liberty (6-0) in the ASUN for now.
Photo gallery by Mckenzi Harris