Men's hoops returns home to host Battle of the Boulevard
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Men's hoops returns home to host Battle of the Boulevard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After nearly a month away, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team returns home to Allen Arena on Monday night to host rival Belmont in the 142nd installment of the Battle of the Boulevard at 7:15 p.m.

The contest comes just a week after the Bisons snapped an 11-game skid against the Bruins with a 74-66 win at the Curb Center. Lipscomb owns a 74-67 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1953.

The game will air on EPSN3 with Jonathan and Justin Seamon calling the action from Don Meyer Court.  To purchase tickets visit http://www.LipscombTickets.com or call 615-966-HERD (4373). 

Herd notes:

  • The ties between the two coaching staffs are deep with Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander having starred on the court for the Bruins from 1991-95 before joining Rick Byrd’s staff for 16 seasons. Bisons assistant coach Steve Drabyn was also a standout guard for Belmont from 2000-04 and was recently inducted into the Belmont Athletics Hall of Fame. Lipscomb associate head coach Roger Idstrom also spent from 2000-11 on the Belmont bench as one of Byrd’s assistants. Belmont assistant coach Brian Ayers suited up for the Bisons from 1989-93 under legendary coach Don Meyer.
  • The last time Lipscomb swept a season series from the Bruins came in the 2009-10 series. Lipscomb also looks to pick up the first home win over Belmont since Jan. 25, 2011.
  • Junior guard Garrison Mathews enters Monday’s contest as the second-leading scorer in the ASUN averaging 18.8 points per game. That figure ranks the junior 95th nationally overall and 27th among junior guards.
  • With eight games in the books, the Bisons are ranked 52nd in RPI. The next closest team in the ASUN is FGCU at 110.
  • After trips to Alabama and Texas, the Bisons returned to the “Volunteer State” for five consecutive games. Lipscomb heads to Belmont, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State before returning to Allen Arena to host the Bruins.  The 5-game run ends at Tennessee on Dec. 9.
  • Eli Pepper grabbed his 500th career rebound earlier in the season at Alabama. He is only the fourth player (Adnan Hodzic, Brandon Brown, Josh Slater, Malcolm Smith) in school history to have reached the plateau in the NCAA era.
  • Mathews led the way against Emory with a 37-point effort, just two points off his NCAA era record for the Bisons. The 37 points were the fourth most of any player in the country on opening night and ties former Lipscomb great Adnan Hodzic for third most in a game in the NCAA era.
  • Lipscomb was predicted to post a second-place finish in the 2017-18 ASUN Conference race by a vote of the league’s skippers and the league’s media members.
  • Mathews and Rob Marberry were both unanimous selections to the preseason All-ASUN team. The duo was also named All-ASUN by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
  • Mathews was also named to the 2017-18 Lou Henson Award Watch List last week becoming the second Lipscomb player to receive the honor. The award is handed out annually to the nation’s top mid-major player. The Franklin native was also named an honorable mention mid-major All-American by NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk.
  • The Purple and Gold return 81 percent of the offense from last year’s squad that was ninth-best in the nation averaging 85.0 points per game. Lipscomb also returns 85 percent of assists from a year ago when the Bisons ranked third in the country with an 18.2 per game average.
  • Lipscomb finished the 2016-17 ranked sixth in the nation for 3-pt FG made. Mathews and senior Nathan Moran were a big reason for that effort as the duo combined for 179 trifectas.  That figure ranks third in the nation among returners this season trailing Montana State (190) and Campbell (185).