|February 09, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.377 (20-53)||.354 (23-65)|
|3P FG Percentage||.280 (7-25)||.211 (4-19)|
|FT Percentage||.783 (18-23)||.526 (10-19)|
COOPER - 4
PEPPER - 1
FT. MYERS, Fla. – It was a staunch battle from start to finish and the Lipscomb men’s basketball team put together the best defensive effort of the season to claim a 65-60 win over ASUN Conference leader FGCU at Alico Arena and claim a share of the lead atop the league standings.
“This was a big win for our program for several reasons,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander. “One, it’s such a meaningful game standings wise and two, because we’ve got great respect for Florida Gulf Coast and how good of a team they are and how good of a program they’ve been.
“This is a game that we’ve got to remember and hold on to and know what we’re capable of.”
The contest was a back-and-forth affair for the first half as neither the Bisons (16-11, 8-2 ASUN) or Eagles (19-7, 8-2 ASUN) could gain a comfortable margin and the end result was a 28-28 tie at the break.
“This was an unconventional game for us,” said Alexander. “We don’t win a lot of slug fests and it’s not the way we usually win. I can’t say enough about our team’s defensive effort. Our guys followed the game plan and our guys made them earn baskets. It was a tremendous effort on the defensive end and without a doubt with us not having great numbers offensively, that’s why we won the game because we were willing to do the dirty work defensively.”
A fast start to the second half would prove to be the difference in the contest as Lipscomb went on an 8-0 run out of the gate and never trailed again in earning the season series split with FGCU.
The Bisons placed four players in double figures led by sophomore guard Garrison Mathews, who notched a game high 19 points behind a 10-for-12 night at the charity stripe.
- With the win, the Bisons improve to 8-2 in ASUN play marking the best start in league action since 2005-06 when Lipscomb went 9-2 en route to a 15-5 mark.
- The Lipscomb bench was limited to just four players as a lower body injury kept junior center George Brammeier from dressing.
- The Bisons made seven free throws over the final 6:59 of the contest that made up for a field goal drought of 8:24 to finish the game. Lipscomb’s final bucket of the game came on a layup from Eli Pepper with 8:24 to play.
- Mathews was joined in double figures by Nathan Moran (13), Josh Williams (10) and Pepper (10), who claimed a third double-double of the season.
- The win was the first for the Bisons this season when scoring less than 70 points.
- Lipscomb held a 38-35 percent edge in overall shooting and a 28-21 percent advantage beyond the arc.
- FGCU owned an 18-13 edge in turnovers that the Bisons were able to overcome despite allowing 23 points off the miscues.
- The Lipscomb defense held FGCU to 24 points in the paint after coming into the game No. 1 in the country in that category scoring more than 40 per contest down low.
- The Eagles claimed a 45-37 advantage in rebounding including a 20-10 edge in offensive boards. Those 20 boards were turned into just 15 second-chance points however.
- The contest marked the 100th game played for Williams, who raised his career point total to 1,445.
Up next: The Bisons travel to DeLand, Florida on Saturday afternoon for a 3 p.m. matchup with Stetson at the Edmunds Center. The contest will air live on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app.