|December 17, 2017||1st||2nd||Final|
|Stats at a Glance||ACU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.403 (25-62)||.385 (20-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.286 (6-21)||.150 (3-20)|
|FT Percentage||.818 (9-11)||.774 (24-31)|
MATHEWS - 4
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After threatening to run away with things with a 17-point lead in the first half, the Lipscomb men’s basketball team found itself in a battle that went down to the wire Sunday afternoon inside Allen Arena. The Bisons eventually held on for a 67-65 victory over Abilene Christian, dispatching the Wildcats for the second time this season.
“We had a lot of respect coming into today for just how hard ACU plays,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “After watching a ton of tape on them, we knew they were a physical team and their effort is really consistent.
“We made enough plays to win down the stretch, but they took it to us for the last 25 minutes. We were just very fortunate to have that margin to start with.”
The Bisons got a season high 24-point effort from Rob Marberry on 11-of-15 shooting from the floor. Fellow junior Garrison Mathews poured in 22 points, including three makes from beyond the arc.
Lipscomb held a 32-24 lead at the halftime break, but the Wildcats slowly climbed back into the game with a strong second-half performance. ACU (7-4) cut the Bisons lead to one possession with 2:35 remaining, but free throw makes from Mathews, Kenny Cooper and Michael Buckland helped Lipscomb preserve the victory.
Despite turning the ball over a season high 30 times on offense, Lipscomb sunk its heels in and ramped up its defensive effort. The Purple and Gold forced 25 Wildcat miscues, and limited ACU to only 11 free throw attempts compared to 31 for the home team.
“I don’t have any complaints about our defensive numbers,” Alexander said. “They shoot 40-percent and have 25 turnovers, I will take that any night. That end of the floor is what saved us. We just have to get better offensively.”
- Lipscomb won the first meeting with ACU 75-67 on November 20. The Wildcats own a 5-4 edge in the all-time series, which had not seen any action in 57 years prior to this season.
- It was the first meeting between the schools in Nashville since 1958.
- The Bisons have won four of their last five contests, with the lone blemish being an 81-71 loss to No. 24 Tennessee on Dec. 9.
- Lipscomb is now 5-0 at Allen Arena this season.
- The Wildcats held a 40-39 percent advantage in shooting for the contest, including a 29-15 percent edge beyond the arc.
- Lipscomb controlled the boards 42-29, its largest rebounding margin of the season. Eli Pepper finished just one off his season high by snagging a game high 14 off the glass.
- Michael Buckland chipped in eight points in 25 minutes despite going 0-for-7 from the field. He drained all eight of his free throw attempts.
- The 31 shots from the charity line was the third most of the season for Lipscomb.
- ACU outscored Lipscomb 21-5 off the bench and 12-7 in second chance points.
- Payten Ricks paced a trio of Wildcats in double figures with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting. He also led the way with seven rebounds.
The Bisons close the year with a pair of road matches over the holidays. They will travel to Annapolis, Maryland to take on Navy on December 21 at 6 p.m., before venturing into Big Ten country on December 30 for a meeting with Purdue.
“Navy is another team with defense as its staple,” Alexander said. “They are really physical and will make you earn everything you get. They have a nice team and are playing well, so it will be a good way for us to close out the first half of the season and a fun trip for the guys.”