KENNESAW, Ga. — Coming off a tough loss to Liberty earlier in the week, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team travelled to Kennesaw State on Saturday to take on a struggling ASUN bottomfeeder.

The Bisons (21-5, 12-1 ASUN) were up to the task, as they beat the Owls (5-22, 2-10 ASUN) by a score of 83-67 at the KSU Convention Center.

“I didn’t think we played particularly great, especially the first half,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said.

At halftime, the Bisons only led 33-29, with senior guard Garrison Mathews shooting 0-of-7. Lipscomb coughed up nine turnovers and fouled 12 times in the first half.

“I think we were ready to play the game,” Alexander said. “And then when we didn’t get off to a good start, we didn’t respond that well. We didn’t treat it as if, ‘hey, it’s just not a good start. Stay with it. It’ll happen.’

“We got frustrated, got a little selfish, so it took us a while to get out of the funk.”

But Lipscomb cleaned things up in the second half and made life difficult for the Owls. Kennesaw State had 16 second-half fouls, while Mathews put up 14 points.

Senior forward Rob Marberry led the charge for the Bisons with a near-perfect day, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 on free throws for 17 total points. Junior guard Michael Buckland had 10 points.

Senior forward Eli Pepper nearly posted a double-double, garnering 14 rebounds in addition to eight points. He also had a team-leading five assists.

The Owls were led by redshirt junior guard Tyler Hooker, who came into the game averaging a team-leading 18.8 points per game. He posted 23 on Saturday evening and led the team with four assists.

Junior forward Isaac Mbuyamba led the Owls with 10 rebounds. Junior guard Bobby Parker had 17 points, while redshirt freshman guard Danny Lewis added 10.

The first half started off sluggishly, with the Owls up 4-2 before the first timeout at the 15:24 mark.

The Owls held a couple five-point leads in the first seven minutes of action, and they led from the 16:34 mark to the 9:47 mark. The Bisons led or tied the rest of the way.

Lipscomb opened the second half on a 9-2 run and had its first double-digit lead three minutes in. When the second half reached 47-37 on a Mathews free throw with 14:03 left, the Bisons led by double digits the rest of the contest.

“[In the] the first half, we got in a little foul trouble, got a little frustrated with ourselves,” Marberry said. “We just had to regroup at halftime and show what we were doing wrong, and we found the problems, and we fixed ’em.”

Lipscomb plays next at Fort Myers against Florida Gulf Coast. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT at Alico Arena, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Photos by Russell Vannozzi

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