March 03, 20161st2ndFinal
Stats at a GlanceSTETLIP
FG Percentage.522 (35-67) .391 (25-64)
3P FG Percentage.464 (13-28) .375 (9-24)
FT Percentage.765 (13-17) .533 (16-30)
Offensive Rebounds1110
Defensive Rebounds3723
Total Rebounds4833
Bench Points3324
PointsNEWTON - 25
ReboundsNEWTON - 13
AssistsRIVERA - 10
StealsLOZOYA - 2
KORN - 2
BlocksLOZOYA - 2
Career night from Mathews not enough in A-Sun semis loss
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Career night from Mathews not enough in A-Sun semis loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Unable to get in synch on either end of the floor for much of the evening, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team dropped a 96-75 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinal decision to Stetson on Thursday night at Allen Arena in Nashville.

“We never got into a defensive rhythm in the first half,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “When that happens the tendency is to press a little bit offensively and try to do too much which compounded the problem.”

The Bisons were led by freshman guard Garrison Mathews, who posted a career best 27 points in the loss behind 7-of-14 shooting including five treys.  He was joined in double figures by junior guard J.C. Hampton and sophomore guard Nathan Moran, who each had 10.

“This was 80 minutes in a row in really important games at home where we never performed at the level we need to,” said Alexander. “We had a really great crowd tonight.  The program is about the guys in the locker room but you really, really want the people who care so much to be rewarded.  There are a lot of people out there that didn’t get that tonight and I hate that for our fans.”

A-Sun Freshman of the Year Derick Newton led the Hatters (12-21) with a 25-point night to go alongside 13 rebounds.  Brian Pegg added 22 points and a dozen boards for Stetson.

With the loss, the Bisons finish the season 12-21.

“This University gives us great support,” said Alexander. “They give us everything we need to be a championship team in this league.  We need to establish an identity and get used to winning.  Then when you advance this far in the tournament you expect to win.

“That’s what we have to do and we will.  I feel great about the guys we have in the program and I feel great about our three years even though we don’t have as many wins as I’d like to show for it.  We’re headed in the right direction. “

Despite the loss, the Bisons head into 2016-17 having won eight of the last 14 games and return 94 percent of the offense from this season.

“We’ve got a great nucleus coming back and we have some really important pieces that are either coming in or that will be playing for the first time,” said Alexander. “That’s the reason we’re excited about the future. We also know that we have guys that are made of the right stuff and are going to do what it takes.

“Obviously, we have a lot of improvement to make, but this season and this ending should have very little to do with what our expectations should be next year.”

Herd notes:

  • Thursday night’s contest marked the first playoff game on campus for the Bisons since 2009 and the first for Lipscomb in the A-Sun format of the highest seeds hosting on campus.
  • The Bisons trailed 44-35 at the half after hitting just 5-of-15 from the charity stripe. For the game Lipscomb hit 16-of-30 for 53.3 percent while Stetson went 13-of-17 for 76.5 percent.
  • Lipscomb struggled on the glass as Stetson claimed a 48-33 advantage in rebounding. Cam Miller led the Bisons with seven boards.
  • Charles Smith and J.J. Butler both got into the scoring column in their final games in Purple and Gold. Smith sank a pair of late free throws and Butler ended the night with a made basket and one free throw.
  • With the loss, the Bisons bid farewell to Smith, Butler, Talbot Denny, Dylan Greene and David Wishon.