November 29, 20171st2ndFinal
Tennessee Tech325486
Stats at a GlanceLIPTTU
FG Percentage.508 (31-61) .434 (23-53)
3P FG Percentage.217 (5-23) .176 (3-17)
FT Percentage.542 (13-24) .755 (37-49)
Offensive Rebounds810
Defensive Rebounds2628
Total Rebounds3438
Bench Points2324
PointsMATHEWS - 18
ReboundsMARBERRY - 6
AssistsCOOPER - 4
StealsCOOPER - 3
BlocksMARBERRY - 1
Men's hoops cannot survive free-throw battle at Tennessee Tech
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Men's hoops cannot survive free-throw battle at Tennessee Tech

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s basketball team hit the road to Tennessee Tech for a nonconference game on Wednesday night, but the affair looked more like a free-throw shooting contest than a basketball game as the Bisons dropped an 86-80 decision to the Eagles at the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tennessee.

The two teams combined to shoot 73 free throws with the home team making 18 trips to the charity stripe in the final 10:09 of the first half and 37 trips in the second stanza. The Bisons (4-3) struggled at the line hitting just 13-of-24 for 54.2 percent, while the Eagles (7-1) sank 37-of-49 for 75.5 percent.

“I don’t have an answer for why we shot the ball so poorly from the free throw line,” said Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander.  “We had a lot of timely misses including missing the front end of a 1-and-1 several times.  We had guys go up there when we really need points and go 0-for-2.

“We’ve been shooting a lot of free throws and we’ve been shooting them well as a team.  That kind of comes and goes throughout the season when you have nights like this. They shot 49 free throws so obviously, they were really aggressively and we didn’t meet the challenge defensively.  To their credit, they stepped up and made them.”

Junior Garrison Mathews led the Bisons with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.  Sophomore guard Kenny Cooper posted a career high 16 points, while junior Rob Marberry added 15 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Tennessee Tech’s Curtis Phillips led all scorers with a 20-point night as he hit 10-of-13 from the line and 5-of-12 from the field.

“I don’t think it was a hangover from the Belmont game,” said Alexander.  “We talked long and hard about that. It’s easy to say that that’s the case, but I just think Tennessee Tech was far better at playing the way that they play than we were at playing the way we play.

I think we kind of spent the first 30 minutes believing that eventually it would turn out in our favor, but we never made that happen.  And so we got exactly what we deserved.”

Herd notes:

  • The Bisons also struggled beyond the arc hitting just 5-of-23 from deep, but those numbers were better than the Eagles, who hit just 3-of-17.
  • Overall Lipscomb held a 50.8-43.4 advantage in shooting percentage thanks to 52 points in the paint.
  • Turnovers also proved costly for Lipscomb as the Bisons committed 19 miscues that led to 20 points for the Eagles.
  • Tennessee Tech held a 38-34 advantage in rebounding.
  • After jumping out to a 17-12 cushion, the Bisons surrendered a 15-3 run including made 11 free throws to allow the Eagles to take control of the first half.

Up next:  The Bisons wrap up a 6-game road swing on Saturday night at Tennessee State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Gentry Complex.