Senior guard Garrison Mathews is rewriting the Lipscomb basketball record books.
Thanks to a 20-point performance against Stetson on Saturday, Mathews eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career and passed Adnan Hodzic (2,002) as the school’s leading scorer in the NCAA Division I era, which began with the 2001-02 season.
“I struggled my freshman year, and I didn’t think I’d be at this point when I got here,” Mathews said. “I knew I had to work hard, and I did. I’ve got great coaches and teammates that have helped me along the way.”
Senior forward Rob Marberry led all scorers with 23 points, and freshman Jake Wolfe emerged as an offensive threat with 16 points in Lipscomb’s 95-71 thrashing of the Hatters in front of 1,388 Allen Arena fans.
“The scoring was really spread out, which was awesome to see,” Marberry said. “Teams don’t really know how to guard us. They can’t tell if it’s going to be one guy’s night or another player’s [night].”
Lipscomb (12-4, 3-0 ASUN) started slow, and Stetson held a 19-18 lead after nine minutes of play. But the Bisons finished the final 10 minutes of the first half on a 38-11 run to take a 56-30 halftime lead and quell any concerns of a Stetson upset.
“When you create a margin like that at halftime, you’ve obviously played well,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “I was not pleased with the consistency of play. I felt like we had a lot of breakdowns and it wasn’t really clean, but I’ll take it overall.”
Mathews also set Lipscomb’s record for three-pointers in the NCAA era. He drained three shots from beyond the arc against the Hatters and now has 285 for his career. He now has 2,006 career points.
“I’ve spent a lot of time working on [the three-point shot],” Mathews said. “In high school, I wasn’t as good of a three-point shooter as I am now. I credit my buddy Jordan Romine for helping me in the gym to get the [three-point] shot where it needed to be.”
Senior forward Eli Pepper left the game at the 12:15 mark in the second half with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He worked with trainer Will Ness and got on a stationary bike but did not return to action.
Junior guard Andrew Fleming missed his second-consecutive game after suffering an injury in a pregame shootaround on Wednesday, but he is expected to return to the court next week. The update on sophomore guard Greg Jones is not as promising, and Alexander said Jones’s knee injury could require surgery.
“Looks like it’s going to be a long-term [injury] for [Jones],” Alexander said. “We don’t have any surgery scheduled, but it’s probably heading that way.”
Four Stetson (4-13, 0-2 ASUN) players finished in double figures, including Kenny Aninye (13), Christiaan Jones (12), Raine McKeython (11) and Abayomi Iyiola (10).
The Bisons now turn their attention to NJIT (13-4), which lost to North Alabama by a score of 66-51 on Saturday. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday in Newark.
“They play us well,” Alexander said. “We’ll be ready for a battle and do what we can to come back with a win.”
Photos by Erin Franklin