Lipscomb erased a 21-point deficit Wednesday night, coming back to beat USC Upstate 84-77 in Allen Arena.

Sophomore guard Garrison Mathews led the way for the Bisons as he finished with 22 points, but both he and his team struggled early, trailing 49-34 at halftime.

“Coach Alexander didn’t have very many nice words for us at halftime,” Mathews said. “He just told us we better quit getting our butt kicked and get out there and play.”

The Bisons were being out-rebounded 25 to 6, and it led to 12 second-chance points for the Spartans.

The Bisons did a good job of attacking Upstate’s big men, causing the Spartans’ three leading scorers to all foul out of the game.

“It was awesome to get their big guys into foul trouble,” Mathews said. “It really helped a lot in the second half. They weren’t able to crash the boards like they usually do.”

Lipscomb’s defense stepped up in the second half as the team was able to force 19 turnovers and score 24 points off those turnovers. The Bisons were also able to avoid turning the ball over, finishing with just five turnovers and allowed Upstate to score just three points off those turnovers.

“Turnovers were huge tonight,” head coach Casey Alexander said. “They have been a big problem for us all season, but tonight we had an extra 14 possessions because of our ability to force turnovers and not turn the ball over. They had a lot of empty possessions, and that allowed us to make our run.”

Sophomore center Rob Marberry, senior guard Josh Williams and junior guard Nathan Moran all finished with double-digit points, while sophomore forward Eli Pepper pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Bisons’ next game is on the road in New Jersey against NJIT in another ASUN match-up at 3 p.m. on Jan. 28. The game will be available to stream live on ESPN3.

Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics

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